Monday, March 21, 2011

5K Training Progress

I never thought I'd see the day where running was something I looked forward to, not dreaded in middle school gym class. We had to run a half mile and I distinctly remembered HATING it. I didn't run, maybe I'd job for a few seconds, give my gym teacher a nasty look, and walk with a friend the rest of the time. My attitude towards running remained that way until last summer.
Enter the Couch 2 5K program. I sort of used it for about a month and I got myself up to running a mile in 12:30 or 12:00 (which would wipe me out and I'd walk the rest of it). Or I could run a little slower and go for more like 20 minutes but again, I'd be exhausted. I didn't really run much after the Fall weather gave way to cold winter-y weather. Once I joined the gym in December though, I tried it again. Then I figured out I had exercise asthma and that's the reason running (and intense exercise in general) was so difficult. Now that I have everything I need, the progress has been really amazing!
In three weeks of really focusing on running (I think I was averaging 4 running workouts a week), I've taken my 5K time from 48 minutes in my first attempt on the treadmill to a time of 37:45 OUTSIDE! Yep! Not on a nice climate controlled treadmill, but outside! It was windy, the trail is hilly, there is geese poop to avoid when running (the trail is a 1K lap around a lake next to my apartment, thus the geese poop). But it's definitely getting better. I was able to run a solid 2 1/2 K before I had to stop for my first walking break on Saturday morning. I took a walking break maybe every 1/2K until the end, but I finished strong.
The only issues holding me back right now is my own stupid stomach. I'm really sensitive to food in general, and it seems like I'm usually living with some degree of a stomach ache. That doesn't translate well to longer distance running! I tried to run 5K on Friday and ended up with such a bad stomach ache that I stopped after 3K and was nearly doubled over. Then on Saturday my stomach was OK but I had a side stitch for the second half (thus the walking breaks). Its so finicky when I run! I can't seem to get a day where my stomach, my side, and everything else wants to cooperate at once. So, in attempts to appease my stomach before running, I'm gonna avoid high fiber foods (especially fiber granola bars) during the day. And I'm gonna try to cut down on the dairy too (since I already know that upsets my stomach). Also I've read not to eat or drink 2 hours before running. So I'm gonna make sure I'm well hydrated and fed by 3pm so I can run after work ends. Definitely no more protein drinks BEFORE running, save that for dinner. 
If anyone has any tips for helping with these issues, I'd love to hear them. It's like the pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together, hopefully all this intense exercise results in some weight loss this week. I've hidden my scale since Thursday and it's not coming out until this Thursday. I'd love to see below 150... 

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