OK, it looks like I am going to start running again. I just signed up for a 10k race in early October. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually run that far. There, that’ll give me something to work for. Apparently 400 people showed up to the last one.
I am totally going to rely on Todd Lange’s 10k training programme. I’ve got time to do it. Todd Lange was the guy whose 5k-101 plan got me off the couch in the first place and all the way to the end of a 5k race in 2011. So I am pretty confident in his ability to get me to run 10k.
Train for a 10k in six weeks with Todd Lange.
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.
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.
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!!
Fabulous. I went out running this evening after work and I’m so glad I did because I’ve just completed my very first Level 7 run. That is where you run three sets of 12 minutes. That makes me so proud and happy!
I am nearly at the end of the RunningMate ‘learn to run 5k’ programme, I can’t believe it, I am coming in right on schedule, despite everything, despite being an overweight ex-smoker.
I will continue with Level 7 this week and if all goes well I will be ready for the grand finale next week. That is where you run for 30 minutes without stopping. I am so excited to take on that challenge. I can’t wait to try it and find out that I can do it.
1 massive Health point.
I have collected a few points here and there. Went to my Chinese class. Went to see my sister. Went out for another run yesterday, I think I must have been running a bit faster than usual because I was panting and slightly nauseous by the end. Maybe I have developed a third speed of running without realising.
The Big Race is 12 weeks away and I am nervous because I’ve never done anything like that before. I don’t want to come last. I don’t want to look like a big fat lump as I jog sweatily around the track. I don’t want to have to walk any of it. Also, I don’t want to show up and find that I’ve failed to bring something vital along with me out of inexperience. So here is the plan.
- Do the No-S diet with renewed vigour. I have not been particularly vigilant about staying away from snacks and sweets, also my interest in cocktails is very, very bad for my waistline. That needs to change. No more snacks, sweets or alcoholic treats except on the weekends. Absolutely no eating between meals, no scoffing ginger nuts at the office. I am very keen to drop several pounds of fat by the time this race comes round; I will look better and it will make running a lot easier.
- Resume doing core strength exercises on days when I don’t run. I stopped because I strained my neck but I have got better running technique now, I don’t run with my shoulders up around my ears, so it is definitely time to resume doing crunches and squats at home.
- Continue to run, obviously. I am getting near the end of the couch-to-5k programme now (I can hardly believe it!). My plan is: do Level 7 of the programme. Then do Level 8, this is where you run for 30 minutes without stopping. This is allegedly equivalent to 5k, but we’ll see about that, I am slow. Do that for a week or until I can complete 30 minutes without difficulty. Then start the RunningMate 10k programme. I should be able to invest several weeks in that before my 5k race comes around. If I know that I can run further than 5k, I will feel confident on race day.
- Go to Regents Park several times before race day and see if I can scope out the route. I don’t know the park very well at all but that is easily remedied. When I can run for 30 consecutive minutes I will start going there to practise. I know where the race’s start point is so I will run for 30 minutes in all directions from that point. Then when I come to do the race the paths won’t be totally unfamiliar to me.
- Finally, swot up on everything I need to know and take with me. There is quite a lot of information on the web about items you need for race days that wouldn’t have occurred to me. Eg, take identification with you! (This is so that someone else doesn’t take your place.) Take safety pins for pinning on your bib. Take toilet roll as it always runs out straight away (a brilliant tip courtesy of Paula Radcliffe). And probably a bunch of other things that I haven’t thought of yet.
That is my plan for having a successful race. Also, while I am being organised, I am going to start doing Flylady’s housework routine again, doing everything on the right days. My house is not hard to keep clean these days and certain areas have had special attention lately because of Moth Wars but these moths are tricksy little buggers, they hide in any and every corner of the house that you leave undisturbed, so I am going to have to disturb everything on a regular basis. So it is back to the routine of doing my household tasks on the specified day.
Finally, I have nearly collected enough data from my spending diary to do a proper budget, that time has come. Scary. But ultimately not as scary as not having a budget.
Crikey. What a lot of things to do. TLYW certainly involves making a lot of effort.
I have reached Level 6 of my beginners’ running programme. It only has 8 levels in total, at the end of which you are allegedly ready to participate in 5-kilometre races. This morning, Coach Todd, whose podcasts I listen to as I jog round, told me that I should start looking for 5k races in my area.
This is giving me such a huge sense of achievement. I love this structured programme that has brought me up so gently from not being able to run at all. I love the fact that when I decide to move up to a new level, I can always do it. I love my growing endurance. Today I ran two 12-minute intervals and I wasn’t particularly out of breath or uncomfortable by the end.
Did I mention that there’s a running shop near my house and that they have a beginners’ running group that goes out once a week? Soon I will be ready to join that group. Soon.
1 Health point.