Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Week 1: This Hurt, But it Could Have Been Worse

So this was the first week of official training. For some reason unknown to me now, I didn't think that Houston Fit actually had a workout plan for that week. I thought the three mile run that weekend was the start of the plan and we would go from there. So I missed the first run on Monday due to the fact that I had not actually looked at the schedule.

So my first run on their training plan was that Tuesday. I was slotted for a 35 minute run. To this point I had been  running between a mile and a mile and a half. All said and done that take between 10-15 minutes, depending on which run and how I feel. On those runs I was tired at the end. 35 minutes was a lot longer. A lot longer. The big thing with running though is that it is more mental than physical. I told myself if you can't force yourself to run 35 minutes now, there is no way you will be able to force yourself to run 26.2 miles later.

So I told myself that and I ran my 35 minutes. It hurt. To this point I was running in the evenings which caused several problems. The first of which was it was hot. There is not an appreciable decrease in temperature until sometime after 8. I couldn't wait that long to run, because I wanted to eat dinner, and I hate to run after eating a full meal. So I had to eat before dinner, which meant I was running at 6:30 or so. And so it was hot and humid, and I don't think I have ever sweat so much in my life as during these runs.

The second problem was still dinner. By the time you warm up, fun 35 minutes, cool down, stretch, and shower, its gotten late. By the time you cook dinner its 9:00 pm. You likely starving, and when you are done eating dinner and cleaning up, its likely time to start getting ready for bed. Running in the evening kills your evening. It took me a few more runs to finally realize that the logistics of this whole just wasn't going to work, but in the meantime I ran in disgusting weather, and it sucked.

Thursday I ran 30 minutes. It was still miserable but since I ran 35 minutes on Tuesday, it was an easier mental game of saying I could do it. And Saturday morning for the first time in as long as I can remember I got up at 6am to go running with the Houston Fit group. I am not a morning person. Knowing there are going to be a lot of other people there doing the same thing helped.

The three mile run actually went really well considering how I'd felt about running during the week. I started off towards the back of my group as they told the quicker folks to lead. But not too long into the run upon hitting a comfortable pace I found myself moving through the group. Granted by the end of the run I dropped off a little bit and people passed me in turn, but all in all it was a good run.

It also helped me find people to run with, because the people who passed me at the end are the folks I should have been running with. They had a more consistent pace and finished the same time as me. So I start all my runs with them now and it helps a lot to keep a steady pace. I can get caught up in trying to keep up with whoever is around me. Its good to find people who share a pace and stick with them.

So my first week was over. The 3 mile run turned out better than expected considering how the two earlier runs went. It was a step in the right direction, and the first step of a long training plan.

I went for bagels afterwards. It was good.

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