Last week I told you that I was going to start a Couch to 10k training program with Gretel. I wanted to provide weekly updates so you can follow us on our adventure in spirit or physically if you have decided to start our training program yourself.
I have found that the only way for me to be motivated to actually train for anything is to set a goal. Our goal here, of course, is a 10k. I decided I would try and find an event approximately 13 weeks out so it would be in line with the finish of the training program.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many running events where you can run with your dog so I could only find one for me. Gretel will have to spectate and cheer me on with S. I have set my sights on the Athleta Iron Girl Seattle Women’s 10k on September 11th, 2010. I picked this race primarily because it was in the vicinity 13 week mark AND it is at my beloved Greenlake Park close to my house. This means I know the course (basically flat), I will be training on the same course so I can keep track of my “race” time and I can walk there from my house (to avoid the stressful madhouse that is racing events).
So, how did we do for the first week of this training program? Well, first I went against the advice I gave in the last post and skipped ahead in the program. In this case it was appropriate though. I wasn’t running regularly but was usually going on one run a week and taking one or two walks. On my runs I was already alternating running 2 minutes and walking 2 minutes with no problem. I have also been hiking about once a week. Because I wasn’t exactly starting from the “couch”, skipping ahead one week in training wasn’t likely to result in injury or undue fatigue.
Our first week actually started at week 2 in the program. We also modified the week to match our current fitness level by keeping with the 2 minute run on Session 2. Basically, our week looked like this:
Week 2 (Our first week)
Session 1 – 38 min. Run 2 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 7 times.
Session 2 – 31 min. Run 2 minute. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 7 times.
Session 3 – 34 min. Run 2 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 6 times.
As I said before, the hardest part is getting out the door and that was certainly our (my) challenge this week. There is less of a chance of life interfering with my training if I do the runs in the morning but I have to get up and out the door around 530 am to fit it in before getting ready and heading out the door to earn money for dog food and adventures. S thinks I just pop up out of bed at 530 to run like it is no problem. I assure you that is not the case! It is SO hard to get out the warm, comfortable bed with two snuggly dogs to go for a run with one of said snuggly dogs.
Wednesday was a tough one. I was out late to a movie with a friend the night before so I didn’t make the run in the am. As I got closer to home after work my motivation dropped proportionally. I was about to let myself off the hook but S said he would go walk the lake with Chester while I ran with Gretel if that would help. Begrudgingly, out the door I went.
When S walks around the lake with me I run I walk with him part of the time and then spend part of the time running up ahead and doubling back for the allotted time I am supposed to run (2 minutes at a time this week). This pattern repeats itself 6 to 8 times. The first 5 or 6 intervals went fine. Then Gretel started to drag me down.
She was running much slower than she usually does and I had to practically drag her while shouting encouraging words to her. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I accidentally stomped on her foot when she tried to dart in front of me to get close to another dog ant the beginning of our run. Not likely though because after the foot smash-down it didn’t seem to bother her at all. I can’t really believe she was tired either. She has ran a lot longer and farther than we had run before with zero issues. I imaging it was more that she was distracted and somewhat confused that we would run past people and dogs and then turn around and run back the other way.
Anyway, it got too hard to run with her and I got annoyed. At one point we ran back to S and I declared, “My dog is broken. I need a replacement” and traded him for Chester. Chester and I knocked out a couple of intervals and then I traded him back. Gretel really does need the conditioning. After being left a couple of times I noticed her willingness to run increased but still wasn’t at her usual speed and enthusiasm level.
Friday we didn’t run but we did fit it in on Sunday….and that was after our 4-mile hike on Saturday. Not too bad for our first week. Now to see if we can keep this up for 11 more weeks.
It’s impossible for me to get photos while I am running. I will try to get S to take some next time.