Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Week 41: Couch Potato Transformation

This week, after dropping my mom and brother off at the airport for a fabulous week-long cruise to Cozumel and other exotic places that are not the bleak and dreary corn-driven states of the Midwest, I decided that I really needed to buckle down if I was going to be ready for my first 5k in four years, now only two weeks away...


I already knew that I could walk a 5k (3.1 miles) easily.  With a little bit of jogging, I knew for sure I could finish in under 45 minutes.  However, that's not really a challenge, is it?

A real challenge would mean trying to run a 5k.

My poor, lazy body shuddered at the thought, but it was too late.  My mind was made up!

But, first, there was another hurdle to overcome...  I had not yet been to the gym completely by myself.  With my mom on vacation, I had lost my workout buddy for the week.  And, for some reason, I had the crazy notion that I needed someone else to come with me for motivation, moral support, consistency, and whatever other nonsense I had rationalized over the years.

As it turns out...  I do not need a gym buddy at all.  In fact, I am more focused and productive when left to my own devices.  It's much easier to stick to my goal for that day without having to factor in another person's goals or preferences as well.

As follows is my actual workout schedule for the past week derived from a modified Couch-to-5k (C25K) schedule that I designed for myself.  I actually sat down and scheduled out by hand my runs in 35 min increments for the next 8 weeks.  Keep in mind that I could barely run more than 2 minutes at a time before attempting this:

 Week 1:

SUNDAY
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
5 min walk @ 3.6 mph
5 min walk @ 3.5 mph
REST
5 min walk @ 3.5 mph
5 min walk @ 3.5 mph
REST
5 min walk @ 3.5 mph
2 min jog @ 5.5 mph
2 min jog @
5 mph

3 min jog @
5 mph
3 min jog @
5 mph

4 min jog @
5 mph
5 min walk @ 3.6 mph
5 min walk @ 3.5 mph

5 min walk @ 3.5 mph
5 min walk @ 3.5 mph

5 min walk @ 3.5 mph
2 min jog @ 5.5 mph
2 min jog @
5 mph

3 min jog @
5 mph
3 min jog @
5 mph

4 min jog @
5 mph
50 Squats

5 min walk @ 3.5 mph

5 min walk @ 3.5 mph
5 min walk @ 3.5 mph

5 min walk @ 3.5 mph

2 min jog @
5 mph

3 min jog @
5 mph
3 min jog @
5 mph

4 min jog @
5 mph

5 min walk @ 3.5 mph

5 min walk @ 3.5 mph
5 min walk @ 3.5 mph

3 min walk @ 3.5 mph

2 min jog @
5 mph

1 min jog @ 5.5 mph
1 min jog @ 5.5 mph

5 min COOL DOWN

2 min walk @ 3.5 mph

5 min COOL DOWN
5 min COOL DOWN

50 Squats

5 min COOL DOWN

50 Squats
50 Squats



50 Squats





(These are all on an incline of 1.0 which the exception of Sunday which was 2.0.)

Day 1 was a huge wake up call.  I don't usually go to the gym on Sunday.  I had been lounging around all day Saturday and all morning Sunday.  I did very little to prepare myself for actually adhering to this difficult schedule.  Therefore, as expected, I could not complete my entire 35 minutes and certainly could not even think about doing the Insanity workout I had in mind.  I thought I was going to pass out or throw up after only 14 minutes (approx. 1 mile).  Rather than beat myself up for failing on the very first day, I went home and did some research on why I failed.  I was probably pushing myself too hard at those speeds, and I needed to make sure I drank enough water and ate enough fuel throughout the day.  I forced myself to at least do 50 squats if I wasn't going to do Insanity, and I started planning to make Day 2 better.

Day 2 was exhilarating.  After eating the right foods throughout my workday and making sure I was hydrated, I was able to do the entire 35 minutes (2.20 miles) at the lower speeds.  Sure, it wasn't consecutive but I ran for 8 minutes total!  I don't think I have ever run that much in a day before.  I was so excited that I thought I should go ahead and include those squats all week to make up for my missed Insanity workout.

Day 3 was exhausting.  I had a long day at work and the workouts were starting to hit me.  My legs were killing me from the squats!  Plus, we had an appointment in the evening.  I was drained and did not feel up to doing yoga like I planned.  I was okay with making it a true rest day.

Day 4 was amazing.  I added a minute to each run interval and it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.  I have never run for 3 minutes straight before and that day I did it 3 times!  And, I felt so great that I ran at 5.5 mph for my final minute before the cool down!  My distance improved to 2.30 miles!  And, I still did my squats.

Day 5 was rough.  I fell asleep when I got home and woke up in a panic that it was already 8pm and I still hadn't been to the gym yet.  I dragged my feet all the way to the gym where I was stuck in front of a Grey's Anatomy episode that hit a little too close to home (long story) and shook my focus.  But, I still did my entire 35 minutes (2.30 miles).  I even made myself do squats before bed.

Day 6 was also exhausting.  I had another long day at work and my workouts and David's new work schedule were really starting to take their toll on me.  I intended to do yoga, but it just never happened.  I fell asleep on the couch and was out until 8am the next day.  Another true rest day...

Day 7 was productive.  David and I got a few errands done in the morning before he had to work at noon, and I worked on my writing until finally making my way to the gym at 9pm...  I upped my run intervals by another minute which actually wasn't too bad for the first two times I had to run.  When I got to that final 4 minutes, they seems to last for an eternity.  My body was suddenly exhausted and I wasn't sure if this would be a repeat of Day 1.  But somehow, I powered through.  I was able to do my entire 35 minutes as planned and finish with my furthest distance yet: 2.33 miles!  Of course, I made myself do squats (which became surprisingly easier as the week went on).

By the end of week 1, I had already doubled the number of minutes I was able to run consecutively!  Sure, it's only 4 minutes, but progress is progress!

Bring on week 2 (and my first 5k of the year)!



Coming up... Week 42:  Mixin' it up on the Trails

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