Tag: couchto5k

Weekly Weigh In

I’ve eaten pretty carefully this week except for last night when I went crazy and ate loads of ice cream. I’ve also weighed myself more than once this week, I was expecting to record a small loss this morning, yet according to my scales I’ve gained seven pounds since yesterday. I find this so terribly difficult to believe that I am just going to record this week as no change.

I went running again yesterday and sucked at it. I think I am going to have to redo the 5k-101 running programme, I can start about half way through where you run two or three blocks of 8 minutes, that’s about where I’m up to at the moment. My running partner doesn’t want to run with me until I’ve regained some fitness – how mortifying.

My beautiful certificate

I received a certificate from the college where I took my Chinese course, but much more valuable to me is this one, which I received by email from the delightful Todd Lange, he of the RunningMate 5k101 programme, from which I have recently graduated. I have pasted in my pseudonym over my real name, but otherwise this is what it looks like:

Isn’t that wonderful. I am so proud. I am going to put it on my wall.

RunningMate Week 8: 30 minutes of triumph & victory

Yes! Yes! I have reached the eighth and final level of Todd Lange’s ‘learn to run 5k’ programme, also known as 5k101.

I went to the park and ran for 30 consecutive minutes without any walking breaks. It wasn’t even that desperately hard.

I am so pleased and proud. I feel I can do anything now. I don’t need to listen to the training podcasts any more now that I’m not doing intervals, I will just buy a cheap digital watch and listen to any music I want while I run for half an hour. I can start working on my speed and cutting down the time it takes me to do a lap of the park. Finally, I am going to let myself start looking forward to losing all of my surplus flab.

I have actually done all right already, I don’t weigh myself but the tape measure says I have lost an inch and a half off the fattest part of my tum, which makes me very happy. There is a way to go still but it is definitely an improvement. Nice as this is, it has taken me two months to get there because when I began this running programme at the end of March I had no stamina. None. I could barely run for two minutes without using up all my energy, and you can’t expect to shift loads of flab if you are only doing tiny little runs. So all this time I have been patiently building up my stamina and endurance. Now, at last, I can run for a majestic 30 minutes and that is Proper Exercise by anybody’s standards. This is where the fat loss really begins. I am going to continue to run on a strict schedule, doing my resistance exercises in between and let’s see how slim I can become by the end of August when my big race is. It is almost exactly three months away. Three months of worthwhile running lies ahead of me. I am excited. I am not going to get the tape measure out again until then, when I shall rejoice in my reduced girth.

Hooray! I ran for 30 minutes today!! 

Running: I levelled up!

Hooray! It is a proud day. I commenced Level 4 of my beginners’ running programme. It went well! 

In Level 4, you do a total of 20 minutes(!) of running. It’s like this: you jog for 4 mins and then walk for 1 minute, and you do that five times. I am so proud!  I have only been doing this programme for a month, I am making much better progress than I thought possible, especially being an ex smoker.

I have totally earned a Health point today.

Readers: there are lots of different versions of the Couch to 5k programme out there. I do the Running Mate one, which is also known as 5k101. Coach Todd is really encouraging and plays club tunes. You can see the schedule here. I recommend it and might send Todd some fan mail for helping me to get fit.

Arse pain!

Arse pain, dear readers, is not usually something to celebrate, but today it marks a large achievement.

You’ll recall that the last time I went out for a stagger round the park, I seemed to have discovered the incredibly slow pace at which I can jog and still breathe. Which is good, as you pretty much have to be able to breathe to get fit.

So, with huge ambition, I today made my first attempt at Running Mate Week 2, in which friendly Coach Todd increases the length and the number of jogging intervals, causing me to jog for a total 12 and a half minutes instead of 8 minutes like last time.

If I’d known it was going to total 12.5 minutes of jogging I honestly don’t think I would have attempted it. On the plus side: my lungs didn’t collapse. I just needed to concentrate on slowing right down so as not to wear out my lungs in the first few seconds. So that’s what I did, and I breathed well, it was fine. Also, I did actually stay the course and keep jogging until the coach said to stop.

On the other hand … oh my goodness, it was not just my legs that hurt. My arse hurt by the end, quite a lot. And my arms and shoulders, which means I must be needlessly tensing them up to carry me round. So yeah, Week 2 turned out to be quite a bit harder than Week 1. But hey! I did it! So let us celebrate arse pain today. 1 Health point.

L’Oreal: because you are worth a giant rash all over your body.

OMG, I am having the most severe allergic reaction I’ve ever experienced in my life.

I am not prone to allergies. I use perfumes without a care, I don’t have to be particular about brands of washing powder, there’s nothing I can’t eat.

A few days ago I got a bottle of L’Oreal Elvive Full Restore Replenishing shampoo and the same brand of conditioner, on special offer. I used them in my post work-out shower. Immediately on exiting the shower, the parts of my skin that the shampoo had touched, like my neck, upper back and chest went bright red, like burn marks, as though I’d washed my hair with bleach.

24 hours later, the whole of my upper body – scalp, face, neck, shoulders, back, chest, arms and hands – was covered in angry red eczema, and my chest and back have lesions that make it look like I’ve been mauled by a lion. 24 hours after that – the time of writing – the eczema is spreading even further, I’ve just noticed it on my feet.

It itches like crazy, you can imagine. I feel like tearing my skin off.

I am not panicking, I know what has caused it and I take it that my body will recover in due course, it’s not like I’m going to use that shampoo again. If it really has shown no improvement by Monday I will go to my doctor but I hope and believe it will have at least started to calm down by then.

So that is why I deserve a massive Health point for going out for a couch-to-5k jog today, because it is very uncomfortable indeed wearing clothes, I couldn’t wait to get home and get naked again. So yeah, 1 Health point, awarded for sheer stubborn perserverance.

Running Mate

Let me tell you about my latest running adventures.

I am doing the Couch-to-5k programme, there are many versions in existence but they all aim to build up your strength and stamina slowly by putting you on a schedule of walking and jogging, where the jogging bits gradually increase. Also, couch-to-5k doesn’t make you run every day (I don’t think most beginners could hack that, I certainly couldn’t), it specifies 3 runs per week but I am actually going out on alternate days so I guess that averages out at 3.5 runs per week if you can be bothered calculating these sorts of things. I think I am afraid of turning back into an inert blob of jelly if I have two consecutive days off.

Today, because I know I am going to be busy this evening, I got up super super early and went out for a run round the park before work. Bloody hell. If that doesn’t merit an Achievement Point, I don’t know what does. When I returned home and got in the shower, I felt very virtuous indeed.

Now my legs feel funny. They don’t hurt, I have had no muscle soreness at all, which I attribute to being fairly responsible about stretching. But I think today, the day of my third Run (or in C-to-5k language, Week 1:3) is the day that my legs received the message that this is going to be a regular thing. Those last two runs weren’t just freak events involving unmissable buses. Oh no, legs. We are going to be doing this a lot. I can almost feel my weak, flabby muscles making an effort to bulk themselves up a bit in preparation for what’s ahead.

It is not getting any easier quite yet, this jogging business. I still gasp for breath near the end and resemble a tomato in a tracksuit. But I will keep at it.

As I stagger round the park, I listen to the Running Mate podcast, which you can download via iTunes. I hear the NHS equivalent plays a lot of BritPop music to run to, which does not strongly appeal to me. Running Mate plays the sort of music that you would be more likely to hear at a rave, probably after having swallowed some Ecstasy. This is something I can get along with. So I trot round, listen to that, and from time to time the coach’s voice comes in over the music to tell you to begin either running or walking, depending on how many minutes  have elapsed.

And that’s all today’s running news.