Remember my friend Dave who ran the Los Angeles Marathon? Team Dave was out in force with Davey Pops. Dave and I met during our undergrad years at UCLA and he is also turning 40 this year (he's about 10 days older than me!)
Dave is planning on running THREE full marathons in the year before he turns 40. Yes, that is 78.6 miles of running in various countries.
Um, I'm setting my goals a little smaller. I'm hoping to run one 5K race (3.1 miles) before I'm 40 years old.
I ran track as a freshman in high school and I'm all about speed. Endurance and me ain't close friends, and I often have nightmares of me running away from a doll (you know dolls come alive in the middle of the night and try to kill you...) and passing out because I have no cardiovascular health.
Well, in my 39th year, I was inspired by Dave's marathon and decided to give the Couch to 5K program a try. Just Google the term and you'll find lots of programs. Basically, they take you from your couch (or your kitchen, in my case) to a 5K in about 8-9 weeks! You start slow (1 minute run/walks) and end by running a full 30 minutes without stopping or walking. At first, I thought they were crazy, but it FREAKING WORKS!
I downloaded the Get Running App to my iPod Touch for $1.99. I had to buy an upgrade from Apple to make it work on my older iPod Touch, but it was soooo worth it! Some programs have little bleeps or bells, but Get Running has an English woman guiding you through the workout and gives you encouragement. She says things like:
Today we are going to run... five 10-minute runs
You are halfway done, turn around and head home if you need.
You have one minute left (with enthusiasm)!
You have run 20 minutes! You have 5 minutes remaining.
Today's run is only 2 minutes longer than last week.
Great job! Congratulations!
Okay, I'll be totally honest with you. When I first started and as I tried to run ONE SINGLE MINUTE (sucking in air and trying to locate the best place to throw up in my neighborhood), I cursed this woman. Serious. Totally thought she was sitting in a recording studio dragging on a cigarette, legs up on a desk, eating bon bons while telling me to keep running. Seriously had issues with her at first.
But as I improved, I looked forward to my "friend" helping me along! (although I still think she's eating a big chocolate bar between recordings). The best thing about the Get Running App is that it pauses your music to give you these statements. I often listen to audiobooks (free from my library using OverDrive) while running so it's important that I don't miss any monologue from the book...or I might not find out who's the killer in the latest James Patterson book! Note to self: Don't be listening to any romance novels while running. Listening to any, um, relationship scene, while jogging by your neighbor's rose garden is just wrong.
Of course, this lady ain't going to drag your butt out of bed to get your running. And that's where Coach Dave and friends come in! Coach Dave ran with me every few weeks and answered all my running questions. Thanks so much Dave!
Verizon Droid phone and used the My Tracks app. This tracks your running, speed, elevation, and maps it out using up all your battery power and GPS. Then I can upload it to a Google docs spreadsheet and Coach Dave can monitor my progress...and I can see that I'm covering more distance each week! Now that I'm up 30 minutes, sometimes I run listening to Pandora radio. (Yes, I am the person using all the 3G bandwidth in the neighborhood.)
I got these Acis shoes from Road Runner running store. Finding the right shoes, getting insoles and proper socks made such a difference. Like baking with the right ingredients, having the right equipment can prevent injury and that damn plantar fasciitis that creeps up on me sometimes.
Sorry for the long post, but darn it, did you see that I can run 30 minutes without walking?! And on May 1st I was dying at 1 minute. Whoo hoo! I'm proud of myself...and will be baking myself a cake to celebrate. Yeah, I'm not losing any weight...but I'll try that next.
This also helps answers the question "Why haven't you been baking?" I've been running at 5 am around my neighborhood...during my prime baking time. Now the the windows are installed (read: drywall dust is finally gone) and the fridge is back (read: shiny new fridge rocks), I hope to alternate running and baking in the mornings. You know, it's all about balance.
P.S. I'll let you know when I run my first 5K. Like the Daveypop, we'll have Bundt Cakes on a Stick to cheer me along the route! :)