Saturday, March 22, 2014

After my first run

So I went for my first run. I'm not getting younger, and running seems accessible to me. Some friend pointed me to Couch to 5K, so I'm following that plan. Here are some reactions after my first run.

Pants: I need better pants. Running in the shorts I wear casually will do for now, but it seems there would be a better solution. I will look into that.

Shoes: Boy am I glad Cathy bought me a pair of running shoes! My regular tennis shoes (are they actually for playing tennis?) would have felt very heavy.

Apps: So far I like RunKeeper. I found it fairly easy to replicate my Week 1 routine for Couch To 5K. The prompts for the intervals during the run were very, very helpful. I also used Runtastic Pro, but I have no reactions on that yet. Next time I run, I'll still use both, but I'll keep Runtastic Pro up front to see how it works. Based on today, however, I'm still going to use RunKeeper's intervals, and likely get the subscription. For some reason, Runtastic posted to Facebook but I missed that in RunKeeper. Hm...

Pockets: What do other people do with their phones and water? My phone was bouncing around in my pants the entire run. I left the water bottle behind and just drank as much as I could before doing the warmup walk. That might explain those armband phone holders I see for sale, but what about water?

The Run: At the beginning of the run, I was preoccupied with keeping track of my running intervals. RunKeeper took care of that, and I found it possible to just focus on running. I say focused because I concerned myself with my posture, with trying not to run too fast, and my footfalls. Many times I found myself thinking I would fail the "Talk Test" and tried to slow down a tiny bit. My run became 60 second and 90 second experiences, and it started without incident.

I had set an alarm for 10 minutes so I would know when to turn around. When that turn-around alarm went off, I finished the running interval and started walking back. Suddenly, the distractions of the app, the intervals, and dodging power poles gave way to a sense of joy. A smile took over and I thought to myself, "I can actually do this!" It was briefly euphoric, and the possibility of running as a lifestyle choice seemed real.

RunKeeper brought me back down to earth by announcing that my next running interval was upon me, and a mild fatigue creeped up behind me and chased me the rest of the way home. My joy was now tempered by the reality that running is going to take effort and time. On the way back, every time I heard that next interval of a one-minute run, I sighed and picked up the pace.

I got close to home when the apps announced that I had finished my workout. I walked briskly from the street to the our rig and paced around a bit to let my breathing return close to normal, and called it my first step in the journey.

How I feel now: I feel a little accomplishment, but I also feel like nothing changed. I sense a bit of reaction from some of my muscles, which surprisingly is not limited to my legs. I read somewhere it is better to warm up instead of cold stretches before a run, but I'll need to look into that some more.

I've decided on running Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. That seems reasonable, even though I have no reason to select those days. I saw the other runners, so I may look into a better time of day to run, or a better location. Perhaps there are no runners living around here but that seems unlikely.

So that's it. My first run!

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