So, as mentioned previously I’ve decided I’m going to start running. In fact, I’m slightly past “deciding” since I’m on week two (after doing week 1 twice) of the Couch to 5K 8-week running program from coolrunning.com.
So why running?
I am not a joiner. While I liked rowing as an activity, my past experience reminds me that a sport training on someone else’s schedule is going to frustrate rather than motivate me. Plus (snob that I am) I want an activity for fitness and me time – not another social activity. Honestly though, I’m super busy these days and hardly see the friends I already have, and the whole team thing doesn’t really work if you don’t engage in any “off the water/field” teambuilding. I suppose I could row a single but I don’t like them much, I far prefer the bigger boats.
I also loathe having to travel to my activity – dragging gym clothes plus work clothes plus all the necessary equipment to get from one into the other (hair-things, body-things, makeup, etc.) just plain sucks. I want to roll out of bed, do my thing, then get straight into my own shower and get on with my day.
I must work out in the mornings, before work. Not only does it get me going in the morning (which is what I’m really looking for), but once I’ve sat down for dinner or on the couch on any given weeknight, I’m not likely to get up again. Once I’ve slowed down or stopped for the day, that’s it. Ask Neil, who pokes me back awake at about 9:30pm after I’ve fallen asleep on the couch for the umpteenth time and points me in the direction of the bedroom so I quit drooling on the upholstry.
Impressions so far
Running, when done properly, doesn’t totally suck. Sure after my first run I felt like I’d been hit by a truck for 2 days, but when I ran again on the 3rd day the very same run was noticeably easier. Then when I left it for 4 days, it was more difficult again. Instant results and feedback like that do a lot for motivation*.
A good training program also makes all the difference in the world. I’m using the Couch to 5k podcasts created by Rob Ullrey – they make it wicked easy to just plug in and go. No checking my watch every few seconds to gauge time, and some great ambient tunes that I can listen to while I just focus on that elusive “point in the distance” that I tell myself I need to get to.
Another thing that surprised me: I like mornings. What I don’t like is getting out of bed – but once I’m up, mornings are awesome. I am a “morning person.” Anyone who knew me during my teenaged years will likely fall down in shock and disbelief right about now, but it’s true. This whole morning person thing also makes me feel markedly better about definitely not being a night-owl (see: falling asleep on the couch around 9:30 just about every night).
Running makes me HUNGRY! That whole kick in the pants to my metabolism at 6:00am gears me up to be pretty ravenous for the rest of the day. So far I’ve been mostly good about responding to HUNGRY with APPLE instead of COOKIES – but only mostly. One thing at a time, people.
There is a camaraderie among runners. Those people I used to glance at the few occasions I was out and about at such an ungodly hour thinking “they must be insane” are now nodding and smiling and sometimes even saying “hello” to me in the mornings. You know the saying “if you can’t see the crazy person nearby, you are the crazy person nearby?” I’m now the crazy person.
So, all told, running has been going pretty well – I’ll fill you in on my progress again in a week or so.
*The week 2 program is seriously kicking my ass. I’ve run it 4 times, and still want to barf at the end every time. I’m just waiting for it to feel “easy” once, and I’ll ramp up to week 3.