Sunday, November 15, 2015

How I Started Training for My First 5k Race: Week One

I would never describe myself as “athletic”. I was the kid who was always picked last in gym class. I’m 95% sure that the only time I wasn’t picked last in gym class was when we learned to play basketball. Please note that this was probably the last time I was picked first to play basketball. I’m about as coordinated at dribbling as a t-rex would be (I’m assuming they can’t really manage that skill).

Consequently, I’ve learned to hate most physical activity, but most of all running. The only thing that I might hate more than running is box jumps. Once, Seth tried to make me do box jumps- I cried. He hasn’t tried to make me do them again.

So it’s a safe to assume that while running isn’t going to make me cry, it isn’t on the list of things that I do for fun. It just doesn’t really make sense to follow up drinking wine and shoe shopping with running.

So when a work friend sent out a email about a 5k happening in Madison in December, I laughed, and moved on. But a few days later I came back to it and said oh what the heck, and handed over a $15 check and my soul signed away on a waiver form.

On Monday of this week I realized that I had only one month until the race, and that I should probably start training. Thankfully, my boyfriend, Seth, trains athletes for a living and has run more than his fair share of 5k races. He suggested that I spend the first week just gauging my abilities and feeling out how I felt after each session before starting a true training program. What better way to do that than a blog post?

(Remembering to stay hydrated before, because once I actually got sick from not drinking enough before a run.)

Day One, November 9:
Forgot gym bag sitting next to the front door in my tornado of trying to get out the door on time. Combining the start of training with a two week spending ban probably wasn’t my smartest idea. So instead I looked at graphs of how to train instead of actually training. How Type A of me.

Day Two, November 10:
I remembered to grab my bag before leaving, but I packed my usual training shoes and leggings instead of running shorts and shoes. Ideal for lifting, not so much for running. If that wasn’t enough already, I didn't really think about what my usual heels would mean for this new plan. I found out that they are actually a terrible idea when I tried to start running and my calves cramped up so bad that I almost fell on my face on the track in front of everyone. I documented the aftermath on my Snapchat, ktcat92, and let me say, it wasn't pretty.
Length: 1.25 miles
Time: 18:25

Day Three, November 11:
Victory! Nothing went wrong! I didn’t finish the entire 3.1 miles, but today was legitimately the longest I’ve ever run for in my entire life. I felt like doing a little happy dance, but my calves were still on fire from the day before, so I settled for a victory wiggle instead.
Length: 2.5 miles
Time: 31:15

Day Four, November 12:
In an effort not to tire myself too badly (or get so bored that I quit), I decided to forgo running and lift instead, an activity I actually really enjoy. I don’t feel completely uncoordinated, and it also helps the booty (can’t so no to that). Unfortunately, I forgot my Polar Heart Rate Monitor, so I didn’t get to watch my heart rate climb or see my calories burned at the end. Still, a pretty successful workout.

Day Five, November 13:
I did NOT want to run this day. But I've found that one of the best ways to trick yourself is to just put on workout clothes, and walk around the track for a while. More often than not, I'll say to myself "Well, I'm already here. I might as well work." Almost every single time I'm more than happy I workout out (almost).
Length: 2 miles
Time: 23:22

I didn't work out yesterday or today, mostly because I didn't want to run outside since I'm still pretty unfamiliar with my surroundings up here. Still, my body feels pretty good and even though my legs are a little sore, they don't feel like they're going to fall off like I expected. Overall, I'd say this week went FAR better than expected. We will have to see what the coming week brings with an actual training program in place.

Have you ever done a 5k? If you haven't, have you ever thought about doing one, and what's stopped you from taking on the challenge?

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