This past week's running worked like this: 6 repetitions of running 1 minute 30 seconds and walking for 2 minutes. It may not sound too difficult, but after not running for a few years it is quite challenging.
The first day of running was last Thursday...that's right, Thanksgiving. I made the executive decision to run early, before my special day of consuming deliciously unhealthy foods. Judging by the turkey induced coma/hangover I incurred, I believe I made the right choice. The rest of my day consisted of watching Home Alone and sleeping.
As for the running, I was pleased to find that running an extra 30 seconds wasn't as hard as I'd imagined. At least not for the first couple sets. After the third set I was so winded that I could barely breathe. The British-voiced woman on the program spoke up afterward, telling me that I was halfway done and could turn & go home if I needed to. After a moment of contemplation, I turned my headphones up a notch and ran harder. It's a good feeling when you don't give up.
Speaking of music, I'm finding that pop radio produces a lot of great running tunes. In heavy rotation at the moment is the new Weezer album as well as select Black Eyed Peas songs. And Miley Cyrus. Ahem.
Saturday was day 2 of week 3 (got that?) and I was happy to discover that I didn't become winded until after the 4th set of running/walking. However that morning the sun decided to come out and I had to shed clothes. I had worn a light track jacket and a beanie and both of them ended up hanging from a low branch on a tree until I finished.
One thing I realized on Saturday was a pain in my lower stomach. I recognized it immediately, thinking back to the days when I ran in high school. My carbonated drink habit had caught up with me. Even though I was only drinking 1 every other day, I could still feel it. My decision? Cut 'em out.
After that realization, I also decided to cut back on food somewhat. I began portioning it out a little better later on that day and the next and, in turn, had the best running experience of all today.
I went out after doing some warm up stretches into the cold dusk after work this afternoon. On my walk to my running grounds (local cemetery that is packed with nice paths & such) I was sure to warm up even more, stretching my legs out and walking very briskly.
Once I got to the cemetery and was prompted to run ever so politely by the friendly British voice on my iPhone, I felt some pain in my leg and side. I decided to go ahead and keep running, and after a minute both of the pains went away. I assume I just had a couple cramps I hadn't stretched out. My next obstacle was breathing. I have a bad habit of taking short breaths which tire my body very easily.
I pretty much had to regulate my breathing as I ran, teaching myself to breathe in slowly and exhale slowly (like Wii Fit has taught me). That was no easy task, but I found that I had much more stamina and by the 6th run, I had found an amazing pace and felt I could run forever.
So that was week 2. If you're reading this and you're a runner, please give me some pointers! I would love to hear what anyone out there can share.