Thursday, September 17, 2009

Week 4 - Day 4, 5, & 6 (Rhythm Revelation)

C and I both agreed that we would re-do week 4 again. We just weren't ready to move on to week 5 because the last day of week 5 is jogging for 20 min with no walking. *gasp*

Week 4 instruction recap: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: Jog ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 secs), Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins), Walk ¼ mile (or 2 ½ mins), Jog ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 secs), Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins)

Day 4 – 9/10
Run time: 30:01
Run Distance: 1.94 miles
Ave Pace: 15:28/mi

Did 100 crunches but no wall push-ups.

It was very chilly on day 4. C even wore some extra layers but I was fine. My arms are what gets cold first and I hardly noticed.

This day was very trying. I was in the "ugh I'm never going to make it through all the jogs" mentality and really had to push or try to zone out and not think about the fact that I couldn't breath in order to make it to the end. All the while C was doing great. She was pulling ahead in every jogging interval and ended up wayyy out in front of me by the end of the last 5 min interval. I don't mind when she does this, we both have to go at our own pace, but it definitely discouraged me a little. I have at least 70 lbs on her so it's only reasonable to expect that she will progress faster than I will. She didn't say anything to me at the time but she went home that night and told her fiance that she really pushed herself and that she thought she was improving. Her improving is great - it means she will be more into going again and it will all contribute to our motivation.

Day 5 – 9/12
Run time: 30:39
Run Distance: 1.95 miles
Ave Pace: 15:42/mi

Did 75-100 crunches (I lost count because I was trying to talk to C at the same time) and 45 wall push-ups in sets of 15 (with stretching in between each set).

Day 5 was much warmer than chilly day 4. It had been off and on raining all day so the ground was wet and it was humid - bleh. Not good outdoor running conditions. This day absolutely SUCKED and was very discouraging. We both were having a difficult time pushing ourselves to keep going. C's legs were hurting her (I think she might have pushed herself too hard on day 4). I completed all the jogging intervals (hating every single second of it!) but C walked about 45 secs in the middle of the last 5 min jog.

We aren't even sure why it was so bad. I was so fatigued - no idea why - and C was in pain.

Day 6 – 9/14
Run time: 33:54
Run Distance: 2.21 miles
Ave Pace: 15:23/mi

Did 100 crunches and I forgot to write it down but I don't think I did any wall push-ups.

On Day 6, C instant messaged me and told me her legs were still hurting and she was feeling crappy so she was going to skip running. I was totally fine with it. I really don't want her to hurt herself so if she needs a bit longer of a recovery period that's cool with me. Weirdly, I never, not even once!, thought of skipping too. I'm very proud of this. In fact, as soon as I got home I changed from my work clothes into my jogging clothes to give myself even less of a reason not to go.

I had read earlier that day that positive thinking really goes a long way with running so I decided to try it. I'm usually a big complainer, especially when C is with me. I started out my warm up telling myself that I was going to do better. That I was going to do well and make it easily to the end. I have no idea if this actually helped but I plan to continue this positive thinking!!

The weather was perfect - not chilly, not warm, not humid, with a slight breeze. So nice.

I took River out with me while I was putting on my shoes and amazingly he pooed, so I decided to take him along. (He eats dinner right before and it is inevitable that if I take him and he hasn't gone already, he will. I have not been taking him at all because I am unwilling to stop while he poos in someone's yard and then finish exercising while holding a bag of poo - yuck.) I ended up keeping him with me the entire time and he did awesome, walking right beside me most of the time.

Usually the warm up is fast walking once around the neighborhood loop. This takes about 5 mins 30 secs. I had been telling C I think we should add some jogging to our warm up and she agreed. I jogged until I was breathing a bit faster, then slowed down to walk, and did this over and over, making the warm up 5 mins even.

The first 3 min and 5 min jogging interval were ok. Not horrible but I was definitely struggling to catch my breath by the end of both.

Then, something amazing happened.

Something I can only describe as "finding my rhythm". On the second 3 min jog interval I happened to jog at a pace that was perfect for me. I was breathing hard and sweating but I was not gasping to catch my breath! It was really unbelievable. I've been doing this now for 6 weeks (and this spring for 9 weeks) and never once had this ever happened before. I felt like I could have kept jogging like that forever. I finished the interval and thought "holy crap, was that just a fluke?" I believed it was but I was definitely wishing to repeat it.

And I did.

I found the magical pace on the second 5 min jog interval as well. I had no problem jogging the whole time and again felt like I could just keep going forever. It was the first time in this whole experience so far that I really could see myself doing this long term and not dreading every minute of it. I was so happy that I walked a bit further for a cool down than normal (which is why my distance is greater than it has been before).

Day 6 was a hugely rewarding experience. I actually enjoyed jogging for about 10 mins of my life! :)

Tonight is the start of week 5. Day 1 is really not that much of an increase so I'm looking forward to it. I'm really hoping I can find that magical pace again and that it all wasn't just in my head...

If you are a runner, have you ever experienced anything similar?


  1. yay! that's awesome :) so glad you found the joy in running. (i'm not a runner at all... but i hear that some people do love it!) i actually just finished reading Born To Run (i thought of you while reading it) that's a lot about how/why we run and how we should enjoy it more. if you're a reader, you should check it out.

  2. Hey, that's great! So glad you found your rhythm :)

    I remember once upon a time when I got my first "second wind". How fantastic that felt after being exhausted to feel like I could just keep running forever. It was a great feeling, and I'd love to experience it again someday. I guess it would require me getting off my butt though :).

  3. Oh Jilly! I'm so excited for you! I get my high 27 minutes into a run, which is about 25 1/2 minutes too long, but it's so great to get there.
    Jer is reading Born To Run (like M), we talked about it for a while when we went to the Greek Festival last weekend...guess I should hit him up for it after he's done.
    I'm so proud of you! Keep up the good work.
    Love love love ya!

  4. Great job! I know exactly what you mean about when you finally get your pace and it feels effortless, but you know you are still getting a great workout. Don't worry about C getting a little faster, it will all even out over time. Keep up the great effort. We're very proud of you and will keep cheering you on.

  5. Oh the rhythm! I miss the feeling of moving your body at a pace that feels so good- it is a phenomenal feeling- and why runners keep running, don't you think?

    You are doing GREAT! Enjoy, enjoy the running. :)

  6. I think this is why I keep going back out to run - because every once in a while I catch this feeling and oh my gosh, its the best! It's only started happening very recently. But the timing is right - I'll need some motivation once the weather starts to turn.

    So glad that you found the "magical pace" and love that you are actually tracking your times and distances here (I'm not that brave). Seriously, you are doing great.

  7. Congrats on doing all that running. I tried getting into it, but I couldn't get past week four and ended up stopping. I need to get back into things again. Keep the good work going!

  8. Hee. You found your magic pace! It happened to me, too. At some point, about 6 or 8 weeks in, I had a run where I felt like I could just run forever. Of course, with my asthma and allergies, I didn't hit the actual 'run a full 5k without stopping' place for several more weeks, but still. It's moments like that that give you hope and keep you going. The runner's high will draw you back in every time. I'm actually looking forward to my run tomorrow (my first in a long time), because I know it will be my last for a while (procedure on Wednesday, recovery Thursday- though maybe a run then if I'm feeling up to it-, and then I start stimming Friday, and NO RUNNING after I start stimming... grr.). It is so weird how much I miss it, but with my schedule and appointments and adjusting to the meds, I just haven't felt like it lately. Which is too bad, because when things get busy, that's when I need it most.

    Anyhow, congrats on your latest accomplishments! I'm so glad you've found running!