In keeping with the imagery in the NaNoWriMo logo, in addition to signing on as a NaNoWriMo participant, I began a running program today!
Well, okay, "running program" is probably something of an overstatement for what I'm doing.
DAY ONE -- Tuesday, October 3, 2006 -- 3 miles (5k)
My new running shoes arrived this afternoon via UPS:
Adidas SuperNova Cushion
Adidas SuperNova Trail
Both pair fit very comfortably.
I headed out on my first Official Adidas Test Run 28 run within an hour of the arrival of the shoes. I selected the SuperNova Cushion shoes for my first attempt.
Now, I have never owned really "good" running shoes before. Nor have I done much "road running." Shortly after I graduated high school, a friend and I started jogging, We kept it up for a number of months. I don't remember what shoes I wore back then -- it may have been some lower-end Pumas that I used to have, although I suspect it was probably Converse All-Stars. Our running eventually tapered off, and it has been quite literally years since I have done any jogging on pavement.
I have run on the beach from time to time since moving to Hawaii. I have difficulty maintaining consistency. At this point it has been many months since I actually jogged or ran, although I walk fairly regularly. In fact, I probably walked a couple of miles on the beach today. Walking, however, ain't the same as running!
My plan for Run Number One was to try for three miles: from the house to the end of the bike path, two laps around Crozier Loop, and back. My goal was a "steady pace."
The shoes felt good -- snug fit without being tight or constricting, no "slop" to cause chafing or blisters, lots of "spring" in the heels -- so I was confident as I headed out. Yesterday I purchased a new battery for my long-dead Casio stopwatch, so I can keep a tally of my efforts. Ambitious, huh? Perhaps overly so.
I headed out. The weather was warm and sunny, with a light wind from the west. By the time I reached the beginning of the bike path, a whopping quarter mile from my house, I was beginning to doubt I would make it for three miles. My feet were fine in the dandy new shoes. It was the rest of my body that was not responding so well to the unaccustomed exertion.
I trudged on. By the half-mile point, I was over the initial discomfort, and was actually toying with the idea of going longer than three miles. At a mile I was still feeling pretty good, but the end of the bike path, another quarter-mile ahead, looked a long ways away. The distance passed quickly, however, and I made two laps around the quarter-mile Crozier Loop and was back at the bike path.
By the time I reached two miles my breathing was beginning to feel a little bit dry and raspy. I was wondering if perhaps I should have begun with a two mile effort instead of three. I reminded myself that I could always slow down and walk back; at a brisk walk, it would be only fifteen minutes back to the house.
Finally I reached my street, "the home stretch," the last quarter mile. I felt a slight, mild side-stitch in this last section -- probably related to the three 16-ounce cups of water I drank before heading out. I kept going, and by the time I turned into the driveway the discomfort -- at least, the discomfort from the side-stitch -- had vanished. I clicked off the stopwatch (which I leave on the porch rather than carry with me -- so times are only "approximate" -- I'm not _that_ serious about this!).
I was pretty warm, and pretty much drenched in sweat. I was breathing pretty hard -- sorry, I would not have been able to "carry on a conversation" while running. My legs ached a bit. My feet, thanks to the new shoes, felt great. I thought my heart rate was pretty high, but a quick check indicated it wasn't quite into the "target zone" of "220 minus age."
Total time for 3 miles: 30 minutes on the money. Ten minute mile pace.
That. Is. Pathetic.
I don't know what I was expecting for my first time running in years. I don't know what would be realistic. It's not like I'm looking to set any records or anything. But to be as tired as I felt after only three miles at a ten minute mile pace, well, that's just kinda lame. I mean, that's barely faster than walking!
I'm definitely not a runner. What I do could barely be considered jogging.
The disappointing thing is, I could not have gone much further while maintaining the pace. Another mile, not likely. Five miles, no way. I obviously have a long way to go before considering a 5k or 10k road run. (My co-student teacher asked if I'd be interested in taking part in a road run this coming weekend with her and her husband. Sadly, I declined; now I know I was correct in my self-assessment).
Also, now that I reflect -- isn't a jog or run supposed to last for more than 30 minutes to have physiological benefits? I barely lasted 30 minutes. I dunno if I could do 40 or 50 or 60 minutes.
On the plus side: no blisters. No lingering discomfort (subject to reassessment when I wake up in the morning). I did NOT have to walk -- I may run slowly , but I was still running, or jogging, or not-walking, the entire distance. And I"m looking forward to trying again tomorrow.
I'm reminding myself that it's generally considered wise to start out carefully when engaging in unaccustomed exercise. I don't want to overdo it and end up limping around and unable to keep going. So I'll try to be patient.
But my goal is to be able to blast through the "half-marathon loop" around the airfield within a few months! Maybe even within the next 28 days!
Adidas SuperNova Cushion (L) and SuperNova Trail (R)