I've embarked on the wild world of running. The UK NHS has a program called Couch to 5k... and I figured it was PERFECT for me.
My first steps into the world of fitness were abortive, but not for the reasons you think. I was all set yesterday morning, had my mp3 player loaded with my NHS couch to 5k podcasts. Got up, got Elisabeth ready to school, and discovered the gate had been left open, and our newest dog, Ozzy, was gone. So I spent half the time I should have been walking/jogging riding around. I gave up riding around in the car, and used a little dog logic about his past escapes and what I know of the neighborhood. I drove over to the next neighborhood (where there's an empty lot connecting it to ours that's infested with feral cats) and decided to walk there, calling Ozzy occasionally.
I got about 4 minutes into the 20 minute routine, when something bumped into my leg, and nearly scared the shit out of me...
...it was Ozzy. Muddy, shaking, scared, and happy as hell to see me. I put his collar and leash on, and walked for a few more minutes, but by that time I was too giddy and tired to continue walking, so I brought Ozzy home (muddying the hell out of my car's passenger seat in the process) to his worried Papa. By that time, it was getting too hot to be outside.
So it was a good and bad morning. Bad, because I didn't even get halfway through the first day's run, good because I found my dog, whom I was certain had hauled ass halfway to Atlanta and would have to be picked up by the pound to be found.
Stupid dog. I'm glad he's home, even if he spoiled my run. (And I did get 7 minutes of exercise in... that's 7 minutes more than I got the day before!)
After yesterday's abortive attempt, I decided to go ahead and start again today. Today went much better; although I did make a couple of mistakes. My first mistake was not properly stretching; I really started to feel it about halfway through. My second was forgetting my water bottle... I was REALLY parched.
I did good though, I got through 15 minutes of the 20 minute workout. I would have done more, but my ankle started to flare up (I had a severe sprain/broken foot bone a couple years ago that still bothers me) and I had to stop. It actually hurt so much by the time I got home that I had trouble driving.
But, I decided to join my neighbor who was walking to cool down, because I was still overheating and breathing heavily. We walked at an old lady's pace for a while, and I felt much, much better. I've only got a distant ache in my ankle now, and it didn't swell up, in the end. I'm probably going to take a break tomorrow, let it recover, and run again thursday, although I may walk tomorrow. I haven't decided.
Total exercise? about 6 minutes of running (60 second intervals) and 38 minutes of walking. 2754 steps on my pedometer, roughly a mile and a half total.
I'm very pleased with this.
Places I can feel the burn: My ass (woohoo!) calves, and surprisingly, my arms. I know a little bit about running/walking, and know about moving those arms. Once I get into running to where I'm not having as much trouble keeping up with the full routine, I'm going to get some arm weights.
Lessons learned: Stretch, you idiot! Don't forget your water! Don't forget to do a cool down walk. I knew that last one, but I wanted to reiterate it to myself so I don't forget.
I'm probably going to repeat week 1 until I can do the whole 20 minutes, whereas normally you'd do three week 1 sessions before moving to week 2. I want to do this right, so I don't give up.