Incremental 5K: Week 9 & December

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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How is it December already? My internal clock says it should still be October or the beginning of November at the latest. It seems like I should be just starting my 5K training instead of in Week 9 and not having all that much to show for it. Last week, I should have gone out running 3 days a week. The weather was wonderful and the park nearby but I spent the entire week sick. Again. My lungs were trying to climb up out of my chest any way they could. Didn’t succeed though. So, here it is, week 9 of my training, the supposed end date, and I’m no where close to being able to run a 5K. Am I frustrated? Yes. Am I giving up? No. Assuming the weather cooperates this week and leaves my lungs alone, I’m going back to my laps. 

I’m going to keep pounding the pavement and working towards running a 5K in December but not as an Incremental Project. It’ll be a nice goal to keep running in the background but I have a larger goal in sight. January 2013 really isn’t as far away as it seems and there’s a lot I want to take care of before the year is out. So, my Incremental Project for December is to finish projects, tie up loose ends, and start planning for next year. Weekly posting on this topic will probably be slim but, rest assured, I’ll be hard at work. 2013 is going to be awesome and I want to be ready for it. 

Incremental 5K: Week 8

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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Simply put, last week’s 5k training was golden. The weather saw fit to be warm and sunny. The park wasn’t too crowded and I made good time. I saw this really weird looking spider. The fact that I only noticed him because he mysteriously appeared on my hand isn’t important. I followed all the prompts from my training app without too much grumbling. Plus, my headphones managed to stay in my ears most of the time. The best part though was that I finally noticed some progress. After spending 3 miles walking/running, I was sore and thirsty but not completely winded. All the cardio seems to be paying off. Let’s hope the trend continues this week.

Incremental 5K: Week 7

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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Last week there was daily stretching, regular workouts, and a fair bit of walking. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much in the way of running. At least, I’ve managed to establish a nice baseline of things to do whether I run or not. It’ll probably be a really solid routine if I ever swing a kettle bell into the mix. Maybe next year, which isn’t as far off as I’d like to think.

This morning I woke up, got dressed, and was out to the park before I could talk myself out of the whole thing. There were a few warm-up laps before I started the 5K app counting and then got down to business. I didn’t skip any of the prompts or cut out early. 15 laps later, I’d managed to cover 3 miles in 35 minutes which isn’t my best time but I’m happy with it all the same. It’s a good start.

Finished and back home, I was sweaty, thirsty, and just a tiny bit sore but I was happy I’d forced myself out for a run. Happiness and excitement is much better than the grumbly attitude I had waking up this morning. That joyful little boost is enough for me to look forward to Wednesday and even Friday. You should probably remind me of this Wednesday morning though so I’ll get my butt out the door.

Incremental 5K: Week 6

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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Last week the weather was cold, windy, cloudy, and occasionally wet. So, I slept in and morning runs just didn’t happen. Neither did afternoon runs despite my best intentions. I’m blaming the rain. Now that the excuses are out of the way, I can say that the week wasn’t a total waste of training since there’s more to running than just running. There’s also stretching.

Back during September and my walk everyday challenge, I got into the habit of regular, daily stretching. At first, I just worked over my thighs, hamstrings, calves, and ankles. Couldn’t walk or run if I pulled something after all. Over the past months, the routine has expanded to start with my neck, end with my ankles, and cover everything in between. My flexibility has increased dramatically and I’m more relaxed sitting in front of a computer or during long knitting sessions. Tense shoulders are detrimental to both of those activities and worth preventing. Half the time, the stretching turns into a mini-workout for my arms and abs even if I don’t make it the track. I’m not a total slacker.

This week’s goal is to keep up the stretching and get back to running again. The weather looks pretty decent so I won’t be able to use that as an excuse. Just need to find a really annoying alarm clock now.

Incremental 5K: The Denver Edition

Last week was a great adventure. On Wednesday the Bearded One and I took a plane to Denver, CO and spent 4 days exploring the city. There was an aquarium, awesome buildings, shopping, tea, great bookshops, yarn (more on that later), and walking. So much walking. The first real day I had in the city, I covered 10 miles on foot. The next day, I figured out the bus schedule. All totaled in Google Maps, I walked about 20 miles wandering the city. My legs hated me at the time but now we’re back on friendly terms.

Now that I’m back on my home turf, it’s time to start 5K training again. My ankle feels great, my legs are cooperating, and I’m back to my normal oxygen levels. I could do without the ever present humidity though. Walking 20 miles around Denver, even if I was just shuffling down the sidewalk, let me know what just what I’m capable of and that my ankle is back in working order. Time to stop making excuses, feeling sorry for myself, and just starting running.

Incremental 5K: Week 4

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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Another week, another post, and the routine continues unabated. Wish I could say the same thing about 5K training. Two weeks ago, I went for an impromptu run without enough of a warm up and now my ankle doesn’t like flexing. I tried ignoring it at first but decided that was a horrible idea. So, this past week, I didn’t try to run or even go for daily walks. Just the usual day to day jaunts, a hike through Bankhead National Forest, and lots and lots of stretching. 

My ankle is much better this week and I hope it’s ready to tromp all over the city of Denver. The 5K training is still on hiatus this week but I’m not giving up. When I asked for advice about running a few weeks ago, I heard “Don’t Wimp Out,” and from SillyLittleLady, “It might not always feel good during the run, but you’ll always feel good after it!” I’m taking those both to heart and, when my ankle feels like cooperating, I’ll be ready and willing to start from scratch.

Incremental 5K: Week 3

Last week was full of the usual routines - walking, trying to run, knit night, wasting time on the internet, etc - and one brand new thing. Bright and early on Saturday morning, I headed into Birmingham for the Komen Race for the Cure 5K.

Transient

I joined Team Boobapalooza with a few friends from knit night and it was the first time I’ve walked in any kind of organized 5K. Wasn’t really sure what to expect but the place was packed and covered in pink. I arrived early enough to find a parking space which meant I spent a lot of time waiting for the walk to start. Thankfully, Team Boobapalooza was pleasant company.

To be honest, I’ve never really understood the whole “let’s walk in a big circle to support X” concept until now. How is my walking going to cure breast cancer, or stop ALS, or fund a library? It wasn’t until  I was walking down 20th and saw the thousands of people ahead of me and the thousands behind me that I began to understand. There is strength in numbers and power in a common cause. Walking isn’t medical research or the cure for breast cancer but it shows strength, camaraderie, and influence.  It is a celebration of the people who are still with us and a remembrance of those that we’ve lost. When people join together there is hope and movement towards a better future where people don’t die from cancer.

Incremental 5K: Week 2

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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Last week I was all gung-ho about starting training for some far off 5K. Then I got sick and just standing up made me tired and wobbly. So, walking was out and tiny amounts of running was definitely out. So, the goodness that is 5K training starts this week instead.

I might be even more psyched out to start running this week than I was last week because I really wanted to start last Monday. I have a new pair of toe shoes and a Couch to 5K app on my iPod. Plus, once I was feeling better, I went to a festival and indulged my love of meat on a stick and funnel cake. I’m ready to get moving. 

Anyone have any tips about what you would have loved to know when you first started running?

Incremental 5K: Week 1

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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Ever since I decided I wanted to able to run a 5K, it seems like races have been popping up out of no where. Just this weekend I saw posters for three different races scheduled during the next few weeks. Not that I’m going to participate but I still think it’s funny that I’m hearing about all of them now. The logical answer to this phenomenon is that I’ve started looking for races instead of just skimming over the news boards. It’s probably not all that different from my ability to pick out yarn shops from 30 paces once I started knitting.

As for the actual running and training part of Couch to 5K, that didn’t really happen last week. I only managed to walk on 2 days due to a perfect storm of timing and laziness. Mostly it was the laziness but Sunday’s walk through 50° temps re-motivated me for some strange reason. Let the training begin in earnest!...just as soon I get over this cold.