Sunday, December 28, 2008

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

It's time to start the Couch to 5K plan!

Two more recruits have joined since the last post:

Lauren (the "Butterfly") Starks from Transition - Here to Fe. Lauren is my internet and BT buddy and while she is not just starting out running, she is interested in the structure of a plan.

Barbara ("Crafty") Croft. Barbara is my doctor and is one of Jen's partners at Piedmont OB/Gym. Barbara has been out of running for a while and might want to get back in. We can certainly encourage her along the way.

So that brings our total number of participants to 12! Yay! It's still not to late to join in. And, if you know of any folks that might want to start (or start back) running, please feel free to forward the blog link to them. If they don't want to be included in the public group, I'll send encouragement privately too.

This week's plan is to switch the 30 minutes of walking on our 3 days to 27 minutes of walking and 3 minutes of running. All runners are supposed to report back after the end of the week on their progress towards the 9 minutes of weekly running and I'll update the blog on Monday with this information and a new chart.

I'm still not cleared to run so the pressure is off for everyone else. You can't do any worse than me. In fact, I'm still sore from a 30 minute walk on Friday, so it's not looking good for me to even walk 3x this week. But as soon as my foot is better, I'm going to catch up!

In other news, Santa brought a Wii to our house and we are all nursing muscle soreness from our virtual sports. Doug is the champ at boxing and tennis, but I'm killing everyone at bowling. I was the worst at bowling until I copied Annika's style and now I rock! She is not getting the "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" yet.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Recruits!

So, we've got some new recruits for the couch-to-5K plan:

Michele "LSU Runner" C. Michele is my tennis partner and swimming buddy who recently moved away to Birmingham. She is a college runner and high school track coach, but has had a recurrent ankle problem and is just starting her recovery plan.

Aimee "new Mom" W. Aimee's husband is in my triathlon club and turned me on to the "Spinervals" DVD series. In turn, I gave him "Yoga for Triathletes". I think I got the better end of that deal! Aimee and Steve are adoping a child from Ethiopia this year so keep them in your thoughts.

Cindy "Apple Queen" Z. Cindy is my aunt from Ellijay, Georgia (Ellijay is the apple capital of Georgia, in case you didn't know). and she is getting back into running after some IT band issues and a running hiatus. Uncle Mike is out with plantar fasciitus or I would have recruited him too.

Charlie "the Engine" (get it? The little engine that could?) from Running Nowhere Fast. Charlie is my internet friend who is also on the recovery train, and is hoping to get clearance from his doctor to run this week.

Sara "Yule" H. Sara and her husband lived across the street from us in our first house in Roswell, when Annie was just a pup and nobody had any kids. Sara has lost over 80 lbs and runs and walks a lot. She is starting to train for her first triathlon this year so she thought the running plan would be a good starting place to build to her triathlon.

I'll send out emails to the lot of you as soon as I've created a distribution list. I'm still not up to walking yet but am hopeful that I'll at least be able to do the walking portions of the training after Christmas with anyone who needs a buddy. I visit the physical therapist tomorrow and am crossing my fingers for a shorter recovery period. The internet research on the subject of stress fractures generally and calcaneal stress fractures in particular has really depressed me today.

If you or anyone else is thinking about joining in, it's not too late! Send me an email or pmail on BT or a Facebook note. Heck, it's never too late!!! I'll egg you on whenever you decide to start running.

In other news, we've cleaned our ovens today and are recovering from two pee accidents last night. And, if anyone has suggestions on how to contain/govern a three-year-old during Mass, please let me know. Dagny was horrible today - we have to leave twice for time-outs.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Man with the Plan

Ta Daaaa! Here is the 5K plan. I figured that no one would want to start their plan before Christmas. So, our running weeks start the week after Christmas. If you are a type "A," get started now by walking for 30 minutes three times a week:

Our illustrious runners so far are:
  • Elena "the Boss" from my triathlon club. Elena has been sidelined with injury this year so she is in the same boat as I am and is just starting back running.
  • Jen "Doc" Williams. Jen is my younger and cuter sister, who has not run since college. She is ready to get back moving this year.
  • Joe "Sailor" Elswick. Joe is my internet friend whose plans to run the Currahee Challenge were thwarted by skin cancer earlier this year. He is healed up and ready to go.
  • Steph B. This is me. My December marathon plans were foiled by a calcaneal stress fracture. Boo. I'm fighting to get back on the wagon, into my pants and away from the crazy.
  • Steph "Sky" F. My best buddy from law school. Steph has been running off and on for several years now, but now she would like the accountability of a plan.
  • Trish "Organic Fool" Sharp. Trish has been a regular walker/sometime runner for a while but is ready to make the jump to running.
I borrowed liberally from the Beginner Triathlete couch-to-5K program and the Cool Running program of the same name to make this plan. Thank you, Beginner Triathlete and Cool Running.

And, because I'm a rules girl, here are the rules:
  1. We will do our walking (and gradually our running) three times per week. They do not have to be the same days every week.
  2. We are committing to thirty minutes of run/walking on these days.
  3. It's best to spread your running days out throughout the week, but it's not the end of the world if you do two days in a row. Pick whatever days work best with your schedule.
  4. It is up to you whether you want to do your running minutes all-in-a-row or spread them out throughout the thirty minutes. Either way, we will all come to the same place at the end, which is a conversion of the whole thirty minute block from walking to running. Because I'm too lazy to divide up the thirty minutes, I'll be doing my running all-in-a-row after a short warm-up.
  5. I suggest warming up by walking for five to ten minutes before starting your run minutes each day. As we get to weeks 14-15, that might mean five extra minutes of walking for the warm-up.
  6. Start slow. You should be able to talk (with a little effort) while you are running. This will get easier with time, but you can't be too slow to start.
  7. If it helps you to use an ipod or walkman, do it. I know that the sound of my own breathing (gasping) makes me feel awkward and out-of-shape. If you need music or a book to pass the time or mask the gasp, that is OK. Just do it with the volume low so you can hear cars or other people/animals if you are running outside.
  8. Run outside or on the treadmill. Does not matter. It's more convenient and pleasant for me to run outside, but do what you like.
  9. I'm available to do runs with anybody on the weekends - Annika will join in and make us feel silly and Dagny will yell encouragement from the stroller.
  10. Do not do your runs in old shoes. If you've never gone to a running store (Big Peach Running Company, Fleet Feet, Phidippides, Spikes Running Company), you need to go and have them watch you run and buy some decent shoes. This is the only required investment. If you are nervous about going to a running store, I will accompany you with two loud children to deflect any possible embarrassment. If you have decent running shoes that are newish and don't hurt your feet at all, we can put off the shopping until later. It's important to get the right shoes for you, and the running store folks will help you find these for FREE. I love my Brooks and have worn this brand for 8 years, but you have to get the right shoes for you.
  11. Please update me (email, facebook, pmail on Beginner Triathlete) with your weekly mileage on or after Sunday each week. Then I can update the chart and post it for all to admire.
  12. I'll post a survey to see what race (if any) we all want to do together. This is not a requirement, but I thought it would be fun. And, afterwards I'll buy the beer.
  13. If you are at all interested in logging your workouts, Beginner Triathlete allows you to log them for FREE if you join up (also free). And, there are cute little charts with different colors for each activity. I love a chart.

Any new recruits are welcome. Trish, Robin, Lotzie and Katie, this means you.

Hooray! Can we run it? Yes, we can!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Lemonade, That Cool Refreshing Drink

Today I went for my x-rays with my cousin, Evander. He is an orthpaedic surgeon at Resurgens. We think that I have a stress fracture in my heel, which is not visible on the x-rays. This is what we thought before the x-rays but at least we were able to tell that there is nothing badly wrong with me. So, while we might know more about the stress fracture, if there is one, from an MRI - the recovery would be the same so I don't think we are going to bother with it. The plan is just more of the not-running. SIGH.

I did get some very comfy heel cups to wear in my regular shoes and a prescription for anti-inflammatories that I will likely not use. Ander said I might want it if the pain flares up. Also, I'm to do more stretching of the heel cords (those things that go up the back of the foot from the heel to the calf) and the hamstrings. I already do the heel stretches after every run because they feel really good but the hammies have been neglected. So, the new plan is to rest for a while (that means swimming, biking and core work only) and then start back again REALLY SLOWLY. Like only a half mile at the time.

So, I was on the phone with my sister later on and she mentioned wanted to get back on the exercise train.


I can't run at all. Jen has not run since college. PERFECT!

So, I'm working on a 3 day per week couch-to-5K plan for us, borrowing liberally from the plans I found on BT and that I know from the Cool Running site. The only question is whether to start out on a run/walk plan or to run the planned minutes all in a row. Hmm. I'll have to ask Jen's preference, but I'm leaning towards the all-in-a-row. Then I need to identify a goal race for us. Something in February. . .

Yay! All of this running talk is making me feel better already.

Anyone else want to join us? Trish? Robin? Katie? Emily? The only apparent requirement is the ability to walk for 30 minutes in a row three times per week. Then, we begin to mix the running minutes into our 30 minutes of walking. I'll track our progress with a chart that I can upload to the blog on a weekly basis. : ) Fun!