Week 6

Today we are at week 6; passed the hump if you will. I can’t believe we have three weeks left. Today we did a five-minute warm up, run/jog 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, run/jog 8 minutes, walk 3 minutes, and run/jog 5 minutes. So this weeks practice run for Thursday is:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

Jog 10 minutes
Walk 3 minutes
Jog 10 minutes

And then on Saturday 25 minutes of non-stop running; and after that all of our runs will be that way..non-stop. No walking breaks. With our Saturday run we need to start doing the “out and back run” to help with our pacing…this is something I need. So I’m going to incorporate the help of my friend Rita who has been running a couple of years to help me on Saturday. She has offered to run with me and is excited that I’m doing this so I’m taking her up on her offer. She can help me time the 12.5 minutes out and back and see how I do. I tend to have a slow, steady pace which I’m told is ok. It’s all about maintaining the pace. I noticed tonight I may have even gotten just a little faster even though that wasn’t my intent. So some progress in my endurance. After training this evening Matt went over some strength training for runners:

Matt demonstrating planks for the core. Picture courtesy of Matt Young
Matt demonstrating planks for the core.
Picture courtesy of Matt Young
I'm standing there in the blue; I'm allergic to grass so I couldn't lay on it; but I'm paying attention so I can do them at home. Picture courtesy of Matt Young.
I’m standing there in the blue; I’m allergic to grass so I couldn’t lay on it; but I’m paying attention so I can do them at home.
Picture courtesy of Matt Young.

We also were given our t-shirts for the race; It’s getting real people!

Genesis shirt

This a short post but this evenings training was good; and people are seeing their progress and believing they can finish this race. It’s a good group.

I’ve got a feelin’…end of week 5 beginning of week 6

Yesterday was what our coach Matt called the Hope Run. Which for the beginning runners of the Genesis  program was our first non-stop 20 minute run/jog. He says if we finish this run we will have more hope that we can finish the race than we’ve ever had. It was a nice sunny hot day and all of those who could make it of the training groups were there. It was a big turn out. My running buddies Sarah and Kristen couldn’t make it; but they completed their 20 minutes on Saturday morning (go ladies!). Yesterday, I came with my phone so I could listen to music. I usually don’t because I want to be able to hear what is going on with the coaches etc.; but yesterday since we were going for 20 minutes I wanted to listen to music. I also thought 20 minutes; that will be about 4-5 songs..I can do this! So we started with a five-minute walk warm up and then the whistle blew to start running. My pace was steady and not too fast and I was able to maintain it. I did feel myself getting a little winded as time ticked on and we had the option to “take a 30 second breather” if needed; but I kept going. And then song “I’ve Got a Feelin” by the Black Eye Peas came on Pandora and I was yep I’ve got a feeling’ I can finish this 20 minutes! It was funny about this time I was going past Matt and he was saying “you can do anything for 3 minutes” and I was like Yesss! we are almost done! It had gone faster than I expected but I have to admit I was feeling it. And when that 3 minutes was up and I heard that whistle blow I was mentally doing the happy dance! I didn’t have it in me to do it physically. Seriously, I was excited that I had completed the 20 minutes; I have NEVER done that ever in my life. I texted some of my friends to let them know we were done and drank two bottles of water.  It was quite the moment. There was a picnic afterwards but I felt sticky and sweaty and I wanted a shower. So I high-five some folks and talked about what we just did and I headed home to clean up. It was a good day. So now we are on to Tuesday for our regular group practice and pick up my t-shirt for the July 3rd race….I’ve got a feeling’…..

Picture courtesy of Matt Young.
Picture courtesy of Matt Young.

Remembering the “Why”—Week 5

Today is week 5 five of the Genesis training our coach Matt said it’s his second favorite week because we are at the mid-way point. Of course his favorite week is the week of the race..but anyway. Today unlike last week was a cool, cloudy, misty 58 degrees; quite the contrast from last week’s 88 degrees..it is June right? It had been raining all day and I was looking for reasons not to go to the training tonight, my leg was a little sore, it was raining, it was cold, I have a little bit of a cold; I was trying my best to come up with something. Then I get an email at work; my monthly news letter Dr. David Mee-Lee’s Tips and Topics. This months issue was written by his son Tyler who wrote about when he decided to stop drinking alcohol for three months. The tips he gave for doing any task whether it’s breaking a habit or learning new behavior were, first remember why you’re doing it. This was almost as if this was a clear message for me! I had forgotten momentarily why I started this training in the first place. My main reason or my “why” was to finish the race and cross the finish line. This can’t happen if I don’t go the training sessions and do my practice runs. His second tip was to tell everyone..well I’m doing that with this blog and I’ve told many of my friends what I’m doing. So when they ask me “how’s the running going?” I want to be able to tell them it’s going just fine and I completed week 5 and not some lame excuse for missing.

So the lessons he learned during his three months were any uncomfortable emotion or thoughts will pass and when I get to the other side it will be bliss. So after tonight’s run I did feel pretty good; better than I did the last week in fact. Tonight was cycle of 5 minute run/jog. Thursday will be three 8 minute cycle and Sunday is what Matt calls the Hope Run when we do 20 minutes straight.

Which brings me to the next lesson Tyler learned…It’s easy when you’re all in. He quoted Jack Canfield who wrote the Chicken Soup for the Soul books “99% is a bitch. 100% is a breeze.” If I’m in 100% there’s no room for any excuse to let myself out; as I tried to do today.

And the last lesson..I can do whatever I want. I think I had started to doubt that I can do this and make it across the finish line. Whether it’s the 20 minutes coming up or how I felt last week; doubt had crept in.

Confession…I’m a big fan of the Rocky movies..well at least the first three. In Rocky it was all about going the distance not winning, just going the distance. I want to go the distance and finish the race, that’s my “why”; and I have to remember that’s the reason I started this in the first place.

Half-way mark–Week 4

We are at week four of the Genesis 5k 9 week training program (http://www.wvruncoach.com/genesis-info/) and we are half way through. It was an 88 degree day, the sun was bright, and we were to do a 5 min run (jog) today. Actually, this was the workout today:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

Jog 3 minutes
Walk 90 seconds
Jog 5 minutes
Walk 2-1/2 minutes
Jog 3 minutes
Walk 90 seconds
Jog 5 minutes

I remember when I thought 60 second run was a long time! Today I had to dig for it by the time we got to the last 5 minutes. I didn’t think I had it in me to finish it. But I did! Sarah one of my group running buddies is a great cheerleader and when we were finished she said it’s done; we made it! The coaches are fabulous support as well..always encouraging as we go around the park.

June 7th we are doing 20 minutes; I was thinking as the last 5 minute cycle ticked away..how in the world am I going to do 20 minutes!! But then I made myself think..I don’t have to do 20 minutes today and stay in the moment and just finish this 5; and so I did. It was a very slow but steady pace but I finished it…Whew! I finished it!  I had processed with a client earlier today about how she hadn’t recognized how far she had come in her own recovery and applying what she had learned to real life; and here I was doing the very same thing. I was now up to 5 minutes and maintaining my own personal pace; fighting the good fight, if you will, to finish it and not even realizing how far I’ve come since week one of the training.  Like I said, I can remember when I thought 60 seconds was a long time and Matt would never blow that whistle to stop running.  So now to get my two practice runs in this week to keep up the pace. I need to work on my diet a little.  Now on with the second half of training and to the Firecracker 5K Walk/Run.  

Back on track…week 3

Yesterday started week three of the nine week 5k training. Last week didn’t go as well as I had hoped; as I mentioned in my last post, I wasn’t feeling well in the last group training. The day after that training session I hit the wall, it wasn’t allergies, I was sick. I even had to go home from work the follow day after the training session. So needless to say I didn’t get my two practice runs in last week; Matt, our coach told me that was ok.  I also know I just didn’t have the energy and I would have done more harm than good if I wold have tried to run and my body needed the rest.

So yesterday was my first run since last Tuesday and this week we were doing 90 second run then walk for 90 seconds, then 3 minute run and walk for 3 minutes with 2 repetitions of the cycle.  By the time we were done I couldn’t believe were finished! I felt great and I’m still not completely over my cold. I know it was only 3 minutes but that can feel like forever if you’ve never done it.  Matt encourages a slow steady pace and that’s what I try to do; especially since I’m still a little under the weather. But I left the night’s session feeling pretty good about how well I did and now I have to do my two practice sessions this week.

Oh, I have already signed up for the target 5k race which is the Firecracker 5K Walk/Run on July 3rd.

Week Two..A little rough

It’s only week two of our Genesis nine week training and I’ve been hit with stumble. I woke up Monday with a sore throat so I try some home remedies and go to work. Of course it’s allergy season but I make my declaration “I don’t have allergies!” which is true for the most part. I am however, allergic to grass; which at last weeks training session I stood on, sat on and ran on. So needless to say I was an itchy mess. But as Monday went on and Tuesday came I wasn’t feeling any better, runny nose and eyes, and sneezing like there was no tomorrow; I didn’t have my normal either strength that’s why I didn’t think this was allergies. But Tuesday came and it was the second week for our group training session and I really didn’t have it in me to go but I knew it would not be a good idea to miss this early in the training. I WAS GOING. So I went and when I arrived Matt, our coach, said “you don’t look like you feel very well.” And I said I don’t but I’m here..and he told me to do what I could. And that’s what I did. I was like Granny Clampet from the Beverly Hillbillies out there going around the park. I was slow! It was the week we started the 90 second run and when you’re not feeling your best 90 seconds seems like 90 minutes. I think there were people who could walk faster than I was running. I was telling a friend about it later and she told me “you may have been slow but you lapped the person on the couch”. And she was right at least I was out there. She has been running for a few years now and also said someone thought they were motivating her that night with cat calls and other ridiculous things, some people can be such morons. Anyway, I completed the nights training, not my best night but I got through it, came home showered, sent a text to some friends and went to bed. Which is why I’m just now doing this blog. The next day I was really sick, I went to work and could only do half the day; cancelled the rest of my clients, came home and crashed. It had finally caught up with me. I’m still a little down but better than yesterday; and I still have my two solo practice runs to do this week.

I’m glad I went to the training session and didn’t give myself the excuse not to go it would have been easy to not go.  Same thing I try to relay to my clients all the time; all the reasons they will find to not go to meetings or to therapy etc. So we have to decide how bad we want it and just do it.

Expectations and goals…

We received our week 2 email from our coach this morning from Matt and in it he asked what our goal was for this training session and for the event; both good questions. My goal for the session is to do better than the previous one and learn what I can; and my goal for the event is to finish the race and cross the finish line; I would like to think I’m not concerned about my time 😉  As I was doing my morning run today I was thinking about the expectations I had for myself. I have a tendency to have high expectations, sometimes too high, I identify as a “recovering perfectionist”. I know it’s only the end of week one of training and there’s a part of me that wants to be further along than I am. I talk about expectations all the time with my clients, rushing the process of getting sober and working the Steps faster than they need to which sets them up for relapse….with that said…my pace is just as it should be 60 seconds running and 90 seconds walking and next week we go to 90 seconds of running. I’m where I am supposed to be right now; following the coaches instructions. Running tall, steady pace…

I was listening to a local radio station just before the Boston Marathon, and they were interviewing someone from our area who was going to the race. The DJ’s mentioned 5k’s and this person arrogantly said he hated 5k’s. I remembered thinking…dude you just didn’t jump off the couch and start running 26 miles! Everyone has their first day, first run, and first race. I get so annoyed when people forget what it took for them to get where they are in their present.  So keeping that in mind…I will keep my expectations of myself in check.

As I mentioned in previous posts I’ve told several of my friends what I’m doing, one in particular is a runner herself and has been trying to get me into this sport for some time. She thinks it awesome that I’ve gotten involved in this program. I told her I think running is also helping me to put some things behind me as well…A Forrest Gump Moment..if you will. This last year has been somewhat difficult and exercise is a great way to process all that stuff and burn that energy with the goal of the finish line in always in mind. On to week two.