The adage goes that well begun is half done. With a day, I think it very much holds true.
Because I perform better when I exercise, Monday mornings at the gym have recently become my norm. I may not walk back through the doors again until Friday, but that Monday morning kickstart is becoming almost essential.
With fall weather slowly getting around to central Pennsylvania after a tropical depression blows through this week, and the days undoubtedly becoming shorter, my regimen has shifted from biking to running.
I haven’t run consistently since early last summer when I injured my left foot on a bike ride. That threw me out of whack for months, and I only recently got back on track thanks to a referral from Kelly Leighton and some time with a physical therapist.
Now that I’ve made adjustments to my gait by relearning how to load each stride through my big toe, and also been turned on to the POSE system and its relative merits, I’m back on the Couch to 5K (C25K) path to running for 30 minutes at a clip. It’s a path I traveled two years ago, and one that, while it may not work for everybody, seems to fill the bill for me.
Briefly, C25K purports to take a non-runner and, in the course of eight weeks, turn him or her into a person who can run uninterrupted for 30 minutes or 3.1 miles. Through a series of three escalating workouts per week, a person goes from running in 90 seconds bursts to being able to complete a 5K.
My first time through, I encountered some high hurdles. I had a hard time making it past Week Five of the plan, plus I needed to learn how to stretch properly after each run to alleviate some left knee tightness.
With those hurdles, cleared, though, I ran a few races, with my best time coming in 28:24 at the Father’s Day 5K on Sunday, June 17, 2012. It was a great event for a great cause, and it was the last race I’ve run because, a month later on August 19, I popped a tendon in my left foot on a bike ride, and slipped into inactivity.
A week after that, work intensified, and my excuses mounted through the fall and winter. My activities per month, as tracked by RunKeeper, slipped to an average of six from September, 2012 through last March. And I gained weight I thought I’d lost for good.
Fast forward to this summer, though, and my personal clock is beating faster. I bought a new road bike, finished my first metric century, and remained active throughout a transition to a new, demanding job.
Why not run?
I picked up in the midst of C25K because I figured I was already in okay shape from the summer biking. My weight had plateaued, and I wanted a way to drop 10 pounds I gained in the last year. Running worked for me before, so I’m running.
Last week went well with three workouts all following Week Five of C25K. The final workout of the week is a somewhat daunting 20 minute uninterrupted run. Even though I delayed it for a day due to a late community meeting Thursday, and did not eat clean Friday, I completed the run with little difficulty Saturday morning.
Using RunKeeper, I logged 11.4 miles last week via eight activities that burned 1,884 calories completed over 2 hours and 23 minutes. I’ll take it.
Even more importantly, I’ve registered for my first 5K of 2013, the SMT Turkey Trot in New Cumberland on Thanksgiving Day; just 52 days away. Time, and a positive attitude, are on my side as I head into Week 6 of C25K that caps with a 22-minute run.
I know I need to train on the road for a few weeks before the race, but I should be able to complete C25K in time to successfully make the transition. There’s time, and shoe leather, enough for that.