Thursday, January 31, 2008
6 Run 3, Week 1 (BTHR-P2) + Run 3, Week 6 (CT5K): It's Starting to Get Interesting....
Today's solo run began at 5:16 pm. It was 39 degrees, and the schedule called for 55 minutes of running. In reality, I ended up running 7 laps (5.18 miles) in 1:03:00 or 63 minutes, and did the first 4 laps in 35:01 minutes. That translates into roughly a 11:49 minute-per-mile pace for the first 4 laps, & a 12:09 minute-per-mile pace for the entire distance.
Next, at 6:41 pm, my friend & I did a total of 25 consecutive minutes of running. I congratulated my friend on completing her first 25 minute run -- we gave each other high-fives at the end -- & then we chatted briefly about what was in store for next week. It's hard to believe that we only have 3 more weeks left to the program! And I think it helped to talk about that, as it reinforces how much progress we've made together as a unit. Yea, we're almost there!
While we did our cool-down walk, I gave my friend an overview of the remaining three weeks of the CT5K program, in which we'll be gradually building from 25 minutes up to 30 minutes of total consecutive running time.
Next week is a series of nonstop 25 minute runs, followed by next week's nonstop 28-minute runs, and then of course, a final week of nonstop 30 minute-runs. And then, after that, we'll move onto the BOHR program.
I reassured my friend that, like before, we'll run at her pace, and just take it one step at a time. And since she just completed a 25 minute run, the good thing is that she already knows that she can run nonstop for this amount of time. And this is a good thing, because next week (i.e., Week 7) is all 25-minute runs! ;-)
I also found that it was helpful (as well as reassuring!) to her to give her endpoints and other parameters (i.e., timelines & other measurements, etc.), as it gave her a more complete picture of our current situation in relationship to our end-goals. I think she was somewhat relieved when she realized that the total running time in the final week was only 5 minutes more than what she was already currently doing now. This definitely made the goal seem more manageable and tangible, as the final running duration of 30 minutes was no longer some vague concept but rather now appeared to be a very real goal within her grasp.
I also gave her an encouraging look into what's to come, mentioning that the BOHR program has a generous adjustment period in which we run nothing but 30 minute runs for three whole weeks to get our bodies & minds acclimated to the idea of being able to comfortably complete this distance.
Also, another positive reinforcement was sharing the words of wisdom and sentiments expressed by many other runners who'd "been there, done that," and were looking back on both programs. One of the very powerful recurring ideas expressed by many runners was this: They discovered that, it wasn't until the BOHR program that they'd discovered they'd actually "become runners." The thunderbolt of this realization was a tremendous epiphany for many, because it meant that it was more than just being able to complete the mileage. They began to think of themselves as runners, both mentally and physically.
This new plateau of self-perception (i.e., a reimagining/re-envisioning/recreating of the self) is yet another thing she can look forward to reaching.
We also discussed how the next few weeks are really important to maintaining fitness, as they are the final building blocks leading up to completing the 5K distance.
Of course, the next couple weeks will be very challenging for both of us, as the CT5K runs will be all solid runs with no intervals from here on out, and will also dramatically increase my own total running time.
In order to minimize the potential impact on the knees, I've already told my friend that once we get to 30 minutes, I'm going to keep running & extend the run as part of the total running time of my BTHR runs. Of course, my times are going to be way off, but it won't matter, as it's only for a few weeks.
Just a few final notes: I my took my usual regimen of vitamins and glucosamine chondroitin, but noticed that my right hip was a tad bit sore after tonight's runs. This isn't at all surprising to me, especially considering I ran a total of 88 minutes tonight, which is a much longer duration than what I normally do! Plus, there wasn't much of a break between my runs, which wasn't exactly the greatest thing to do either.
As a result, I may even start doing this "combination run" concept as early as next week, but it all depends on various factors, namely when we meet for our runs, how I'm feeling -- particularly the knees & now my right hip, and my overall schedule & busy-ness level, etc.
Something going to have to give, (and I don't want that something to be my knees!), so for now, it looks like I might even have to do my joint runs first and then just tack on the extra minutes to complete the total running times for my BTHR program. Of course, this means that if I start this practice next week, my runs will be considerably darker & colder. The only other alternative to get in my runs would be resorting to the dreaded "t" word! But I guess it's certainly better than the other alternative -- potentially hobbling around in a state of perpetual soreness, or possibly worse, the worrisome "i" word that dare not speak its name in an athlete's presence! ;-)
On this note, my friend & I have been fairly good about stretching before our runs, usually starting our stretches after our warm-up walk, which is much more advisable than doing a cold stretch. It's important for the muscles to have warmed up slightly before stretching them.
OK, well that's what's in store for the next couple of weeks. Adding to the mayhem is my chaotic and uncertain schedule. Depending on what type of job I end up taking, my hours & location might possibly mean that I won't be able to run with my friend anymore. But of course that's a hypothetical that hasn't yet happened, so for now, we'll continue to meet until my schedule actually solidifies into something (hopefully!) a bit more regular. At this point, there's too much up in the air to merit any further discussion on the subject.
OK, time to call it a night. Hope you're all doing well!