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My New Challenge!!!

So the time has come for me to make a change.  I know some people won’t like it, and some will, but it’s not up to them.  I am doing this for me.  Some might think it’s stupid, and some will consider it distinguished.  Some will think it’s a fad, and some will notice a character adjustment.  But no matter what people think, I am doing it.  Week one is already in the books, and I am on my way.

That’s right readers, I am growing a beard.  For many years, as long as I can remember shaving, I have wanted to try to grow a beard.  When I first was able to grow anything on my face, it itched like crazy after a few days and I would shave it off.  Eventually, in college, I settled on the goatee look.  My chin and around my mouth was the only part I could stand to not shave, where it wouldn’t drive me nuts.  My cheeks and my neck would itch, and break out with ache and rashes, so I just stopped trying.  Even when I did try, itching and all, it just looked like crap.  My cheeks came in all uneven and it wasn’t worth it.

Now I am older, wiser, more patient, and more disciplined.  My wife doesn’t like the stage between clean-shaven and the roughness right before I shave again, since I only shave like twice a week.  I should shave every day to keep it smooth, but I just hate doing it.  So since she hates the in between stage, and I would rather not shave at all, she mentioned just letting it grow out.  She has been used to the goatee, so now I just need to add the cheeks, and fill in under the chin and around the mouth and jaw line.  I considered it after she said it, and I decided to give it a go one more time, but this time, for real, whatever it takes.  I started to do research on the subject and found out that all the symptoms from my previously failed attempted are natural.  There are steps that I must go through before I can get to my goal.  The itching is natural, but temporary.  Just like my goatee, which itched at first and not does not, the rest of the beard is the same way.  I must get through a few weeks of itching, and then it will stop.  Temporary discomfort for long-term gratification.  The unevenness is also common at the start.  I must be patient and let it grow.  I need to be strong, hide my razors, clip my fingernails, and get some beard oil to help with the itching.  I can do this.  It itches now, not so much on my cheeks, but on my neck especially.  I would go ahead and shave my neck, but the professionals warn against that at the beginning.  They say just let it ALL grow for a month, and then define the neck line.  That way, I will have a better picture of the beard by then and can make a better determinant of where the neck line should be for maximum visual appeal and anti-eye-soarness.  This is a test, for myself.  It’s a challenge, to resist the urge to scratch, or shave it off.

I can’t remember the exact day I shaved last, but it was sometime last week, maybe before we went out last Thursday night.  It’s Friday today, so it’s been a week, give or take a few days.  I started with my goatee already on my face, so last night, just to even the odds a little, I trimmed the goatee to the lowest setting on my trimmers, an eight inch.  My goatee is still longer than my cheeks, but just barely.  And I know, since it’s used to growing, it will probably grow faster anyways, and be even more ahead of my cheeks in a few days.  But as of now, I am done grooming it.  The experts say just to leave it alone for a month and then start to shape and smooth it out, so that is what I will do.  Three more weeks to go.  By then, then itching stage should be done, and hopefully it will be coming in pretty evenly.

They also recommend that you start this process at the beginning of a long vacation, so you don’t look like crap going to work while not grooming your facial experiment.  Luckily, I don’t work in the public eye, nor do I have a business casual type dress code where I have to be properly dressed and groomed.  I do want to look nice, but it’s summer, and everyone in the office is letting loose.  There are sandals, shorts, baseball caps, T-shirts.  One guy even wears those Vibram 5-Fingers Fitness shoes around the office.  It’s an engineering office, with engineers, technicians, and managers, so anything goes pretty much.  If anyone asks, I will tell them to just give me a few weeks and my face will look better.  The best part is that my boss is on vacation for 2 weeks.  This is the end of his first week gone.  I won’t see him again until I am well into my third week of this.  Not that he will care anyways, but still.  There are a few beards around the office, including my boss’s boss, so hopefully he will understand my condition.

So if I am correct in my thinking, that last Thursday was my last shave, then I need to leave my face completely alone until August 18, 2011, or 4 weeks.  This is day 8, so I have 20 days left.  I can do that.  No problem.  Wish me luck.  I will keep you updated on my progress.


My First 5K

It was a cloudy cool evening on the campus of Wake Forest University.  The crowd continued to multiply as the clock ticked.  Music played on the loud speakers children littered the parking lots.  Everyone was branding themselves with race numbers, like numerical name tags.  The sun tried to poke through the clouds from time to time, but it was no use.  Evening had taken over and it was going to be a perfect evening for a race.

All week long, the days, and even the evenings had been very hot and humid, and downright miserable.  It was not until Friday when the clouds covered the sky and started to cool us down.  The forecast was for rain, but it never happened, which was alright with me, as long as I didn’t have to run in an oven.

Finally, it was time for the fun run.  That meant only 30 more minutes until I would officially become a 5K runner.  Never before had I run so far in my life.  What was I thinking?  Then I told myself that I could do this.  I had trained months for this moment and it was going to be fine.  Sure, I was nervous, not about winning, not about the crowd watching, not about embarrassing myself, but just worried about getting my pace right.  The last few weeks, it has been so hot outside, so I have been training on the treadmill.  Keeping the pace on the treadmill is easy.  Set it and forget it.  Then my only job is to keep up with it and not fall off the back of it, or trip over the front of it.  Piece of cake.  But now, I was facing reality.  I was on my own.  No Start button, no kill strap, no music, and no Air conditioning.  I had to do this on my own.  Piece of cake, right?

Time to line up now.  The starting gunman made an announcement, that if you were not a sub 20-minute 5K runner, don’t even stand close to the starting line.  This was a Championship event and they wanted the contenders up front.  I was smart enough to stand near the middle, with about 400 people in front of me.  I was also smart enough to start on the right side of the pack, so passing me would be easier.  The announcer continued to bark out the rules of the race and the finish line procedures, with the finish shoot, and tearing and passing the bib tab, but all I was thinking about was trying to start off slow enough so I would have the stamina to run the whole thing, and finish.

The gunman finally lived up to his name and fired the fake weapon.  It took about 10 seconds from the gun snap before the pack in front of me moved an inch.  Slowly, we jogged through the starting gate.  Past that, the mob spread out to the full width of the road, giving everyone a little more elbow swinging room. Once I got moving, my pace was a little fast I thought, so I slowed a bit, but I still continued to pass other runners.  Of course, a bunch of runners were passing me as well.  I didn’t care though.  It wasn’t like High School, where I wanted to finish first.  My goal was to finish, and try to run the entire race, no matter how slow.  This was my first chance to set that bar, so I wanted to set it right.  I didn’t want to have a run/walk time.  I wanted a solid run time, even if it was a penguin time.  I needed a baseline to build upon, and anything less just would not do.

I continued to study myself as I jogged forward.  Am I going too fast?  Will I be able to maintain this for 3+ miles?  Am I going too slow?  Will I have so much leftover energy at the end where I can sprint across the finish line?  That would be a nice finishing touch, if I was in First place, but not as a 400+ finisher.   I wanted to finish strong, but finish satisfied that I did walk and didn’t go too easy.

Every person I caught up to, I made an assessment.  Should I pass them, or should I slow down and follow them?  This went on for the first quarter mile or so.  I passed some, and sometimes they came back and passed me later on.  Eventually, I found my spot.  It took some time, but I finally caught up to these two ladies in pink shirts.  They were going just my speed and chatting.  The one of the left was doing most of the talking.  She was having an easier time than the one on the right, but they both of them were keeping a pretty steady pace.  I decided to follow them for a while and see how I felt.  Once we got to the first mile marker and got some water, I finally said something to them.  They probably knew I was there since they had to have heard me breathing hard, but I informed them anyways.  They accepted my presence generously, which was good, because I wasn’t leaving regardless…Ha Ha.  They were part of a running group from a local church.  The one on the left was a half marathon runner who was helping her friend on the right get started with running.  Being a newbie myself, I knew what she was going through.  Left girl could have smoked us both and finished 5+ minutes ahead of us, but she was the pace car, and believe me, I appreciated it.  What else was really nice is that she was in coach mode, and she had done this race before.  She told us about all the turns ahead, and how many and how long the hills would be.  She even knew how many more minutes it would be before we would have water again.  I know she wasn’t there for me specifically, but I took all the help I could get.

Once we approached the second water stop at the 2 mile mark, both of them opted to skip it.  Well, beforehand, I told myself, if I was going to walk at all, it would only be while I drank the water.  I wanted to walk, and I wanted water, but I wasn’t about to lose my pace buddies.  So I got water, but I continued through the station and stuck with the girls.  After a few more flats and slight inclines, but last mile or so was all downhill.  It was nice to have the relief, and we even picked up the pace just a little bit.  The race started at the football stadium, and that is where we were headed back to, but it looked so far away above the tree line. It was a long gradual decline run to the finish, but the last few hundred feet were around the corner, so it could not be seen until the turn.  The veteran pacer informed us that it was right around the corner down this hill.  I believed her, but it didn’t make it any easier.  It wasn’t until we approached that last turn, that my excitement kicked in and I knew the end was near.  I know I could have probably sprinted past both girls and finished a few seconds faster, but I stuck with my crew, who got me to the end.  We all cross the finish, one after another, all receiving the same time of 33:14 minutes, not bad for my first one.  I thanked them for the help, found my wife, and headed straight for the food and beverages. It was the perfect end to a very nerve racking day.  I think the next one will go better, and maybe I will be able to pace myself finally.

The winner of the race got a time of 14:14 minutes, beating his own course record of 14:17 minutes, which he set last year.  The oldest runner in the race was 74, and she finished 5 minutes ahead of me.  That doesn’t make me feel bad for myself though.  It makes me proud of her, and I hope to still be a capable runner when I am her age.  The youngest runner was 6, and I beat him………so there…… LOL.

C25K Graduation!!!

Wow, what a journey it has been.  I really can’t remember how it all started, but there I was, starting a running program for the first time in my life.  I was determined to conquer this mental block I had about running.  Not all mental though.  I was also out of shape, and needing a change desperately.

I started the C25K running program to get myself off the couch and doing something for myself and my family.  I knew already that I couldn’t run like I used to, that it would be hard to get my body to accept my new activity.  I knew the breathing would be my biggest challenge, since my legs were pretty strong already.  I’ve always had soccer legs, even 10 years after I stopped playing soccer.  My wife and I have tried to start running in the past.  I used to blame not being able to run on my bad knees, and that biking was easier for me.  But when I ran with my wife, I couldn’t even run long enough for my knees to hurt.  I had to stop because I couldn’t breathe.  We tried a few times, but then gave up and we started biking instead.

What I learned after I started C25K and started patrolling the blogs and community forum threads, was that speed was key.   I found out that I was running too fast.  I started slowing down and taking things one step at a time, literally, and things started to get better.  I couldn’t jog at 8 mph like I used to do, but I could jog at 15 mph.  Over time, the intervals got longer and easier, but my speed didn’t increase quite as fast.  But that didn’t matter.  What mattered was that I was jogging, and still breathing, and not gasping.  It was amazing.  Throughout the program, I continued to improve, and amazingly, I started to love running.  My knees were holding up and my lungs allowed me to go further than ever before.  When I finished my last run of the program yesterday, in Week 9, I ran 3.1 miles in 32 minutes.  A whole 5K.  I never thought it would be possible, but it happened.

Tomorrow, I start training for longer distances.  I am looking at a few different 10K training programs now and may combine their workouts to make my own routine.  Next Saturday, June 25th, 2011, is my first even, a 2 mile race.  I don’t plan to compete, but I do plan to finish, and that will be amazing.  3 weeks after that, I am signed up to do my first 5K.  Again, finishing is the goal, not racing.  Wish me luck and hopefully there will be more races in my future.

Rest Day…What’s that?

Today was supposed to be my rest day……….you know where this is going, I am sure.

I brought my workout clothes to work today, just in case I felt like doing something in the gym, not necessarily running.  So lunchtime comes around and I don’t feel like doing anything, so I didn’t.  My legs were a little stiff from doing 3 miles, 2 days in a row already, so I decided that today was going to be a total rest day.  No cross training or anything……….

So 4:00PM comes around and it’s storming outside.  I went to the restroom before leaving for the day, which is right next to the gym door.  When I came out of the restroom, it was lightning and the trees were blowing and it was raining really hard.  I didn’t feel like getting soaked while running to my truck…………so……….. I figured……….if I am going to get wet anyways one way or another, I might as well be wet with sweat.  I turned around and pushed open the gym door.  One hour later, W9D1 was done and it went well despite my lack of enthusiasm earlier.  I was showered and changed into clean clothes, and better yet, the rain had stopped.  So not only did I get to leave work without getting wet from the rain, but the earlier rain dropped the temperature outside, so I didn’t sweat all the way home either.  Things were good today.

So I have had 3 very successful day, running around 3 miles each day, and wanting to run more.  They were all indoors, in the AC, with the fan blowing on me, but still.  I keep thinking about Week 1, where 60 seconds gave me a hard time.  Now I’m doing 28 to 30 minutes and feeling like I could keep going.  I’m loving it.  What will tomorrow bring?  I don’t know, but I am packing my gym clothes to bring to work for sure. 🙂

As long as I can remember, I have hated treadmills.  I guess I blame them for my bad knees and my aching back over the years.  I blame them for going too fast and wearing me out.  I blame them for going too slow and making me slow down to avoid stepping on the kick plate or running into the console.  I blame them for just about everything to do with working out that hinders or hurts me.  When I belonged to a gym, I found the strider machine, and that solved all my problems, and just confirmed to me (in my mind), that treadmills were to blame for everything.  The strider was my savior in all areas.  My knees didn’t hurt, my back didn’t hurt, and I burned 700 calories every other day on that machine in just 30 minutes doing a mountain climbing profile.  Then things changed.  I got a job and the gym took a backseat to my career and family.   Of course, the gym still had a lack of what I love most, and that’s the outdoors.  I’ve tried running outdoors before, but that was before I heard about C25K.  I was out of breath, my knees would kill me, and I would give up, saying that running is just too hard on my knees and my breathing.  I need to find something else.  So I found biking.  It was easy on my knees and back, and I could breathe, and I was outside, so I got to enjoy nature.

Ok, I am getting off topic.  Long story short, I was all wrong.  It wasn’t the treadmill that did it to me, and it wasn’t running outdoors either.  Now that I have started the C25K running program, I am running now, and my knees don’t hurt, and I can actually breathe.  It wasn’t the treadmill at all.  It was my fault.  I was trying too hard to get moving.  With C25K, it started me so slow, with baby steps, I was able to work up to running longer times, and gain strength in my legs, and work on my breathing.  I am up to 25 minute jogs now, and last night, the treadmill proved to me that it’s not my enemy.  I still prefer to run outside, because I love the outdoors, but Wednesday was so hot, I could not finish my 25 minute run, so I tried again yesterday on the treadmill at work, and finished with no problem.  I walked at a 15 minute pace, and I jogged at a 12 minute pace, and when time was up, I think I could have gone further, at least until my water bottle ran out.  I am not afraid of the treadmill any more.  It is my friend, and even though I would rather be outside, when it’s hot and humid, I now know I can still run inside, and my knees will be ok.  Tomorrow, I run again.

Heat Wave Exercise

It’s been a crazy past week or so.  Tornado warnings have been popping up, the rain comes and goes, and it’s been really hard to get motivated to run.  I have compensating though, by cross-training on the bike.  I have commuted back and forth to work 3 times in the last 2 weeks, including my Sunday afternoon practice ride.  This last trek was this past Tuesday and the morning ride was fine, but coming home, it was a scorcher outside, in the upper 80’s.  I opted to take the easiest way home, which was to stay on the roads.  Besides for a few uphill miles at the beginning, the entire trip home is downhill.   The heat coming off the pavement wasn’t fun, but this route took 2 or so miles off the trip.  Time-wise, it was about 10 to 15 minutes quicker too.  I was glad to be home.  I don’t think I will enjoy riding on days like that.  I plan to avoid hot and humid days from now on.  I love the cool days, so those are the ones I will plan for riding to work.

Today, I plan to jog W7D1 of the C25K running program.  After last night’s nightmare of trying to jog for 25 minutes in the evening heat, I have decided to run indoors for the first time.  I am not a fan of treadmills, but this heat and humidity this week is too much.  I will be happy when the heat wave is over and I can get back outside.  I am lucky enough to have a gym at work, so I plan to go there after work to get my run in before dinner.  There is also a gym at my apartment complex, so over the weekend, I can run in there if it’s still too hot outdoors.

After a day at the community pool on Saturday, my wife and I thought it would be fun to do something different for Sunday.  It was going to be a hot day, just like Saturday, and it just made sense to be in or near water, so after breakfast, I loaded up the truck with our kayaks and gear and we hit the road.  There are many places to kayak around our house, but we opted to head out-of-town instead, just because we wanted to.

Falls Lake State Park was our destination.  It is the closest state park to us that allows personal boats on the water.  Some of the other parks are closer, but they restrict water access, and make you rent boats from them, which totally sucks.  So we headed toward the Raleigh-Durham area.  It was cloudy on the way, but as my shoulders can confess to now, that the sun did make an appearance later in the day.

We didn’t waste anytime getting the boats off the truck and into the water, since it was starting to get hot.  Our lunch even got packed away in my wifes kayak so we could eat on the water when we got ready.  It was the perfect day for this.  We made a great choice.  The water was pretty calm, all except this one dude circling the area we were paddling, with his kids on one of those tow tubes.  Hey pal, thanks for the waves.  Could you go a little faster and get a little closer to us next time?  You didn’t quite get my daughter to tip over.  Thanks a lot.

After awhile navigating the shoreline and listening to the birds, we stopped for lunch on a sandy part ad anchored ourselves together as best we could. The wraps my wife made were delicious and her only flaw was not bringing more.  He He He.

After an hour or so later, we decided to head back to the beach for some swim time.  When we arrived back on shore, the beach was a lot busier than it was when we pushed off.  The girls found a spot for our towels and my daughter swam while I loaded the kayaks back onto the truck.  Once done with that, I was ready to cool off.  I walked down to the beach, dropped my stuff, nodded to my wife, and we headed for the water.  It turned out to be one great day.  After a few hours of getting dunked and splashed, it was time to head home.  Needless to say, after my wife and I’s morning run, and a day at the beach kayaking and swimming, I slept really good last night.  Well, all except for that storm that forced me out of bed at 3Am to shut all the windows.  Other than that, I was glad to be relaxing in bed.

Bike Me!!!

Today is Bike To Work Day and I did just that.  It was a chilly morning, and still kind of dark out, but by 6:30AM, I was on the streets headed for work.  Well, not directly toward work, but I was headed in the general direction, navigating through residential neighborhoods to make it to the greenway.  Once on that path, there are no more cars that can kill me with one pass.  I took this same route last Sunday as a trial, and not surprisingly, there were a lot fewer people out early in the morning.  It was very peaceful and I only passed by 2 people the whole time on the greenway.  One walker with 2 dogs, and one biker.  That’s pretty good since I traveled about 7 miles on this path. 

Once I hit the roads again, I had to not only deal with traffic in my ear, but had to conquer Gallimore Dairy Road hill again.   I considered walking up it, since I could use a breather before getting to work, and since I would be in the easiest gear and could probably walk up the hill faster than I would be spinning.  But I made it, for the second time in a week.  I can’t say it was easier, but at least it didn’t seem any harder.

When I got to work, the first thing I did was call my wife to let her know I made it in one piece.  Then I carried my bike upstairs to my cubicle and proceeded to the showers.  I know some people would just lock the bike up outside, but not me.  I have lots of bells and whistles installed and I would like them to stay that way.  Plus, it looks cool in my office. 

I’m lucky to be at a company that has a fitness center on site with showers and everything.  And the best part is, at my new job, the gym is right down the hall from my office.  Nice, huh?  I didn’t really sweat from the ride itself, since it was a pretty bitter cool morning outside, but I did sweat on my back where my backpack hugged me the whole trip.  I installed a panniers rack on my bike last week and I used it to carry my lunch box today, but I think I also need to attach my backpack on the side of it or something next time.  That will be easier on my back, and dryer for my jersey. 

Now I am here, at work, eating my lunch, and contemplating whether I want to take the same route home, with is 9 miles and sticks to the greenway for the majority of the trip, or if I want to stick to the back roads, which is only 7 miles, and mostly downhill.  The downside to that is that i have to deal with Friday rush hour/ happy hour traffic.  No thank you.  Contemplation complete.  I’ll stick to the greenway.  At least this way, the Gallimore Dairy Hill is downhill this time.  I just have to remember to hit the brakes at the bottom so I can turn onto the greenway.  I think I can get used to this Bike to work thing.  It’s kind of nice not having to drive to work, even if it takes a little longer, takes more planning and effort, and requires freshening up at work.  At least I will be getting in shape, right?

I know this sounds crazy, but I am really starting to enjoy this exercise thing, especially the running.  I love the biking and kayaking too, but that’s not new.  The running thing is new, and it’s growing on me like a fungus.  I can’t get enough and it feels so much better every time we get out there on the roads, the sidewalks, the greenway, the trails, or in some cases, the track.  My knees don’t hurt, I can breathe better, I can go longer, and I can actually seem to hold a conversation, to a point.  And i went down another notch on my belt yesterday.  It’s wonderful.  I’m not losing a drastic amount of weight, but I am losing inches on my waist, and my belly.  Along with the running program, my wife and I are also doing a sit up challenge program, so that has to be helping too.  When we started, it was hard to do 5 sets of 10 situps.  Now in Week 4 of the program, we are doing 5 sets of 30 to 50 situps, and that’s a wonderful thing as well. 

My wife and I signed up for our first 5K run last night.  It’s called the Beat The Heat 5K, and it’s in Winston-Salem, NC on July 16, 2011 @ 7:00PM.  Sure, I’m nervous about it, but just feeling the progress I’ve made so far, I believe I will be more than ready by then.  Once we finish C25K in early June, I plan to start the B210K program, so by July, a 5K should be no sweat.  And hopefully I made the right choice of picking a 7:00PM run, so maybe it would be so hot, even for July in North Carolina.

Even further out, in September, my wife and I are signed up for the MS Bike Tour: Tour To Tanglewood.  It’s a charity bike ride that is 48 to 100 miles on Saturday, depending on how many extra loops you choose, and 41 miles back on Sunday.  I have done this Tour for 6 out of the past 7 years.  The company I work for has a team and I rode with them until I got laid off.  Then my buddy Jason and I rode 2 years ago as individuals, and last year, I didn’t ride.  So this year, now that my wife and I are both rehired back at the same company we met at 7 years ago, I rejoined the bike team, and I asked her to ride with me, so she joined too.  This is her first year she will ride the tour, and it’s really the first year she has been on a bike since she was a kid.  We bought her a new mountain bike last year and have been practicing.  With all the running we have been doing lately, the bikes have been neglected, so we need to get out there soon and start training for September. 

I went to the sports store yesterday and bought a panniers rack for the back of my mountain bike so that when I start commuting to work, I will be able to carry my lunch box, and whatever else I want to carry along, like a change of clothes, files for work, or whatever.  I finalized the installation this morning, so it’s ready to test out.  I am going to try to ride to work on Friday if it’s not raining.  We’ll see.  I would have done it today, but it’s still wet out.  Not a big fan of sliding around wet leaf covered greenway trails.  But I’ll get my chance soon.

Every moment for the last few week had been dreading the W5D3 workout.  It consists of a 5 minute brisk walk warm-up, followed by a 20 minute non-stop jog, and finishing up with a 5 minute warm-down.  The reason this workout was so frightening to me, as well as many others in the online community, is not the 20 minute jog itself, but the fact that the program up to this point only required a maximum of 8 minute jogs.  Jumping from 8 minute jogs to 20 minute jogs seems like too much, but let me confess, that is was not as bad as I thought it would be.  In fact, it seems really easy, considering it was almost 3 times as long as any previous jog.  The workout before this one was two 8 minute jogs back to back, with a few minutes rest in between, so we were getting the same time in, just not consecutively. 

So it’s done.  It all started with a very gloomy day.  The sky was overcast for the most part, with the sun peeking through every now and then.  It was a dark day.  The storms were on the way.  At first inspection, the forecast called for a 60% chance of rain, starting between 5PM and 6PM.  That was just great.  I get off work at 5PM and wanted to get the run in before the rain started.  I didn’t know if we would make it in time.  I called my wife and my buddy who was going to run with us and told them to be ready at 5PM sharp, so we can run and beat the rain. 

Instead of trying to circle my neighborhood for 20 minutes during the long jog, I decided that it would be better and a straighter shot to drive over to the greenway to do the workout.  When it was almost 5PM, I checked the forecast again and it had changed.  Now it was saying it was not going to rain until 8PM.  That was hard to believe with the way the sky was looking at that point.  I thought maybe we had a little more time, but not all the way until 8PM for sure.  We needed to stick to the plan to avoid a pre-dinner shower. 

I hurried home just before 5PM, only a few miles from work conveniently, changed clothes, and my wife and I drove down the street to pick up our friend, who by this time was waiting by his mailbox.  I had called him as we left the parking lot and told him to be ready.  The greenway trailhead was only a few miles down the road, so we got there quickly.  It took me longer to get the podcast to the right track than it did for us to drive there.  I chose this trailhead not only because it was the closest one to the house, but also because it was a low point on the greenway as far as elevation.  We would be jogging a slight uphill for the first half of the workout, and then when we turned around, it would be down sloped on the way back.  With a few hills in between of course.  When we finished the first 5 minute warm-up, we were just about to a really steep, but short, downhill section.  I suggested we pause the track and start the jog at the bottom, but I was outvoted and we went ahead and started the jog going down this steep incline. 

The jog itself when very well.  The first 10 minutes felt really heavy in my legs, but when I finally heard the cue that we were half way, I turned my team around and we headed back toward the hill we started on.  I figured we may slow down slightly over the 20 minute period, so hopefully our 20 minutes would end before we got to the hill.  Well, I was wrong.  In fact, I think we sped up a little, because when we got to the hill, we slowly but surely crept up it, and when the cue to end the jog finally came, we were exactly at the point where we started.  How cool is that?

The last 5 minute warm down walk was great, but we did feel a few drops of rain from time to time.  We were busy patting ourselves on the back for completing that 20 minute jog.  It was truly amazing to be able to go from 8 minutes to 20 minutes.  I was scared of it, just like everyone else, but we pulled it off, like a lot of people kept saying.  I guess I had to experience it myself before I would believe it.  I am a believer now. 

Now comes Week 6.  Some are saying it is the hardest so far, but after looking at Day 1, I have to say that it doesn’t look as bad as yesterdays jog.  Tonight, it’s a 5 minute warm-up, 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 8 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, and a 5 minute warm down.  5-8-5 with 3 minute breaks in between doesn’t seem as bad as 20 minutes….to me…….but I could be wrong.  Now, the 25 minute run at the end of Week 6 looks bad to me, but after doing 20 minutes, it’s not that scary anymore.  In fact, 30 doesn’t even seem threatening anymore.  But I will get there.  No need to push too fast and mess it all up. 

Here is our run from last night.  2.46 Miles.  Not bad.  Keep running everyone, and good luck.

Greenway jog, C25K W5D3

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