Saturday, August 8, 2009

One Hour Runner, W1D1

Yesterday morning I did my first run of One Hour Runner. It was identical to the runs in the last week of C25K, so it was a pretty smooth transition. I set out a bit later than normal, so I ran after the sun was already up. This allowed me to see something I wish I hadn't:

When passing the canal that runs alongside the jogging path through Greenacres Park, I spotted something odd enough to make me stop and take a closer look. It appeared to be reptilian roadkill. There was no gore, just what appeared to be the remains of a rather large tail. Size-of-my-forearm large. I spent the rest of my run thinking that it was the remains of a baby alligator, wondering what could have done something like that to it, and wondering why there was no gore. I was nonplussed to see visual confirmation that there are, in fact, alligators lining the path that I run, but I took solace in the fact that this one was dead.

Then, on the way back, I took a closer look. I realized that it was not, in fact, an alligator tail. It was the shedded tail-skin of a snake. Given the size and diameter of the skin, I'd estimate the snake to be maybe 6-10 feet long. Probably a python. This means that there's a huge snake, now too big for its old skin, that calls my running path home. The path that I usually run in the dark. With overhanging trees. Suddenly a few spiderwebs don't seem so intimidating anymore.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Graduation Day

Well, I did it. I'm a Couch to 5K graduate. Again. For a third time, actually. Over the last 9 weeks I've seen the following changes:

1. My shirt collars fit more comfortably.
2. I had to switch to a smaller belt. My pants tend to fall down without a belt now.
3. I don't sweat as much when getting ready in the morning.
4. I don't feel the need to adjust the house thermostat down to sub-arctic temperatures all the time.
5. I dropped from 191 to 174 pounds.
6. I went from being able to run for 30 seconds to being able to run for 30 minutes.

Not too shabby. I didn't hit my goal weight of 167, but I'm not done yet. I'm going to continue on with "One Hour Runner" - the training for that is similar to C25k, with three runs a week, getting progressively longer over a 9 week period. It starts where C25k leaves off. The running schedule is as follows:

Week 1: Run 30 minutes, 30 minutes, 30 minutes
Weekly total: 90 minutes
Week 2: Run 30 minutes, 30 minutes, 30 minutes
Weekly total: 90 minutes
Week 3: Run 30 minutes, 30 minutes, 30 minutes
Weekly total: 90 minutes
Week 4: Run 30 minutes, 29 minutes, 35 minutes
Weekly total: 94 minutes
Week 5: Run 30 minutes, 32 minutes, 38 minutes
Weekly total: 100 minutes
Week 6: Run 30 minutes, 33 minutes, 41 minutes
Weekly total: 104 minutes
Week 7: Run 30 minutes, 34 minutes, 45 minutes
Weekly total: 109 minutes
Week 8: Run 30 minutes, 36 minutes , 49 minutes
Weekly total: 115 minutes
Week 9: Run 30 minutes, 38 minutes, 54 minutes
Weekly total: 122 minutes
Week 10: Run 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes
Weekly total: 130 minutes

I'm also starting a "200 crunches" sit-up program that's similar to C25k. Yesterday I took a test to establish my baseline. Based on the number of sit-ups I can do at present (about 20), I'm supposed to start right at the beginning of the program. That's fine by me. I'm using CrunchFu to keep track of my progress.

As for today's graduation run, it was pretty typical: There was a beautiful full moon lighting my way. A black cat ran across my path. I ran into huge spider webs not once, but twice. The threads of the webs stuck to my clothes and skin and floated behind me as I ran, like a race finish-line ribbon. All pretty much par for the course.