I had planned not to run today because I was convinced that I would wake up completely unable to move however I woke up much more mobile than I anticipated (and pretty sad in general) so I thought a run was in order to clear my head. I drove to the lake and did 2 miles (IN. THE. RAIN!) per the C25K program. It's nice to know that even though I am run/walking I am able to keep things at about a 10 minute mile pace. I chose not to push for 3 miles because I shouldn't have even been running anyway and I didn't want to push myself too hard (ha! I say as I am mentally calculating how MUCH walking I will end up doing at my half marathon in 11 weeks). I push myself harder than anyone else could push me and I'm eager to get back to some real miles, the walking is killing me, which is why I can feel this program getting thrown to the wayside soon. I handled today's schedule with much more ease than I thought I would so I'm interested to see how I progress and I anticipate trying to push through a full mile by the weekend. Bad, bad, I know, but do as I say not as I do ;)
During my run today I lost my keys on the trail for the first time ever. I was beyond ticked when I noticed because I was already mad that my phone kept bouncing out of my pocket and dangling by my headphones and then I had to backtrack (IN. THE. RAIN.) to find my keys half buried in a big patch of mud. I'm not sure if you've read between the lines yet but this girl doesn't like to run in the rain. I'm not one of those people who will wax poetic about how awesome it is and how it makes you feel alive and like more of a hardcore runner because you're the only one out there when everyone else is at home all warm and dry...all of that is crap. I am wet and am neither showering nor swimming and that is not acceptable especially when you factor in having to drive my soaked self home. With the heat on. While wearing COTTON. EWWWWW! For the most part I'm glad I went but that rain, it was a dream killer.
Someone asked me yesterday if they should run everyday when first starting out so here is my answer to that*:
It's important not to push yourself too hard when you first start running because your recovery time is just as important as the time you spend running. It gives your muscles a chance to relax and rebuild and you should take one day a week to do nothing at all (really!) and alternate running days with other activity (whether it's a different kind of cardio or strength training). When you start hitting higher mileage then a recovery day can be an easy 3-4 miles instead of taking a day off. When I am double running (running in the morning AND at night) my morning run is usually the one I push hard on and my night run is the recovery run. I know that some people do it the opposite way and are able to push harder in the afternoon but I have never been much of an afternoon runner, mainly because I can't have ANY food in my stomach whatsoever when I run and the afternoon has pretty much shot that idea out of the water.
The most important part is to listen to your body and not your head. When you're first starting out it's so easy to push too hard and either burn yourself out mentally because you want too much too fast or worse, to injure yourself. If you are trying to follow the Couch to 5k plan (or one of Hal Higdon's plans, which I highly recommend if training for a half marathon or marathon) then it's important to follow what the plan says. Now that I am doing C25K I can see where it seems to be a little weird to be running along and then stopping 60 seconds in, especially in front of other people. You might feel like you can do more but don't! The program is teaching you how to pace yourself and build base miles. Building mileage is important if you're trying to make it past one mile. I've had a lot of people over the last few years ask me how I can run more than 3 miles at a time and the answer is 1) pacing and 2) building base miles). If you can bang out a mile but then feel like you're going to die you're going out too hard, too fast. I feel very strongly that if you can run one mile you can run two. If you can do two then you can do three. And once you hit three the sky is the limit. Three is my magic number because it's the exact mileage that I settle into a run, I hate every single step until I pass that three mile threshold.
*I do not claim to be an expert in all things running. What I am is a person who over researches everything she is interested in to the tune of owning at least 20 running books (and I've read them all cover to cover, most several times). I get Runner's World Magazine, read their blog, attend talks at my running store and follow The Man (aka Hal Higdon) on Twitter. I just like to be knowledgeable about every interest I have and share what I've learned along the way (which is why I have the awesome ability to talk for hours about absolutely nothing. It's my favorite skill ;). I am constantly learning new things and tweeking what I do (in everything from running to how I put on mascara in the morning....I'm not right). Everything can be modified to fit what you need and what best fits you but this is what works for me so I'm hoping this blog is a good starting point for people who want to get into running and don't know how.