January 27, 2011

Plan A, modified

It took a bit to put Plan A into action today, for my entry in the Baby Weight My Fat Ass Suck it up Buttercup Virtual 5K. First I had to update this:
can't run without the proper, up-tempo music
I was so glad to find everything on my iPhone (except the phone bit) still works, even though it is no longer on a network. I still haven't figured out how to put music on my new phone (or rather, how to find it once it's there) and my bluetooth headset is already paired with the iPhone. Turns out my pace program also still works, though I didn't use that today.

Once I had music, I packed my bag and braved this:
Guess you can't see the snow flying
I live close enough to the Y that it's silly to drive, and figured the walk would count as a warm up. I considered running outside, but that thought came after I was on my way, and I hadn't brought the right clothes for below freezing temperatures.

I got to the Y and changed into my running gear, including Vibrams. The picuture was sucktastic and blurry, and besides you all know what Vibrams look like by now anyway.

I decided an additional warm-up wouldn't hurt:
Half mile at walking speed: 3.8 mph
Then, the race began!
Mile 1 at cruising speed: 5 mph
I ran the first mile non-stop, which is an improvement over last week's run. I decided, because I'm out of shape, to break between miles and catch my breath (this is the modified part...). Who knew the pause button would clear the screen? After a minute to get my heartrate down, I started mile 2:
A negative split!
It looks like I ran faster in mile 2, but honestly I walked some. I tried to make up some time, which is how I ended running this mile at 5.1 mph.

Another short break, and on to mile 3.1:
This mile did not go well at all. My legs were tired, my feet were sore from pounding on the mill, and my big toe was rubbing in my shoe. Luckily no blister. I think I walked more than ran this one, but I did actually finish with a strong sprint.

I put compression socks on and walked home as a cooldown:
no snow flying now

Overall, Plan A did not go as poorly as I was afraid it might. My knee was sore, but did not actively hurt. I could feel my hip and back, but they also did not hurt. I was focused on foot placement, and on relaxing various body parts (mainly my hips).

This was a more comfortable run than the 1-mile I did a week ago, outside of my being out of shape and getting tired. You'd think I could have done core work or something while my knee was out of commission, but no. I have to start from scratch.

So now I'm looking for a couch to half marathon program. I'm signed up for a 10-miler near the end of April, which gives me 12 weeks to get back into racing form. I'm not looking for any particular speed or PR, just a way to get myself safely back up to distance. Any suggestions?

Oh, and it occurred to me as I got on the treadmill, if water running was Plan B, I also had a Plan C:
If my knee gives me trouble during the couch to half program, I can try water running, or use elliptical training until it behaves again.

While this wasn't my best (virtual) race ever, it was still an accomplishment and I'll take that prize. I now know I can run a mile nonstop, and I can run more than a mile without pain. Tomorrow I'll be in the water, and while I won't be running a 5K, I do plan to arrive early and water run a bit before class. Saturday, I'll run again, either on the treadmill or outside (depending on the weather). While I still have healing to do, it's time to step up my game.