Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Completed Couch to 5K

Well, I did it.

On Friday, I went out and did my third run of week 9, thus finishing my final week of Couch to 5K. I was surprisingly nervous about the run, even though I absolutely knew I could do it. I'd done an extra run last Saturday and went for 34 minutes, plus I'd completed the 30-minute runs on Monday and Wednesday.

I guess I was worried something bad would happen and I wouldn't graduate.

But I did. I finished my 30-minute run and all was just fine.

Of course the truth is that I'm not sure I've really graduated the program since I'm not really anywhere near running 5K at this point. This morning, I went for an extra run, and I covered 1.95 miles in 34 minutes. That's a blinding average speed of 17:38 minutes per mile. (Can you hear the sarcasm?)

On Monday, I will start the 10-week Ease into 10K program. Although I could have jumped right into the 6-week Bridge to 10K program, I figured that going with the longer program will give me a few more weeks of short intervals so I can work on increasing my speed.

At this point, I have three goals I would like to achieve:
  1. Complete Ease into 10K and be able to run for a full 60 minutes without stopping. Unless I get sick, injured or have to repeat a week, I expect to meet this goal on January 17.
  2. Be able to run 5 miles without stopping. Given that I can't even cover two miles within 30 minutes, I have a feeling this goal will take much longer to achieve.
  3. Be able to run a 10-minute mile. At this point, this goal seems really far off, but it's on my radar. Right now, I can't predict when I might be able to do this, but maybe I'll have a better idea in January.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Couch to 5K - Week 9

Perhaps I am being a little premature in declaring victory here, but this morning I made my second of three 30-minute runs that are scheduled for this week. I wasn't worried about completing the run this week, because I already knew I could run for 30 minutes. Last week, I was running for 25 minutes, and on Saturday I went for a "just because I feel like it" run.

Okay, well maybe the word run is a little overstating things. I'm huffing and puffing along at roughly 3.25 MPH, which is a speed most fit people could out-walk.

But I digress. I went out on Saturday and I jogged for 34 minutes. I felt like I could have gone on even longer, but my left knee was hurting intermittently during the run, and I figured discretion was the better part of valor. I kept going until I was almost home, and then I walked the rest of the way.

Yay me.

So this week's 30-minute runs haven't seemed so bad. I am fully confident that I will make Friday's run without any problems, though the weather isn't supposed to be so wonderful. The forecast is for rain, likely starting early morning. I suppose I could get up really early and try to beat the wet weather, but I don't have any reflective clothing, and I don't want to get run over by a sleepy commuter on his way to work.

So, I'll run at sunrise and hope the storm front stays away until after I run.

Knowing my luck, fat chance. I'll run anyway, and perhaps I won't stink as much if the rain washes all the sweat away.

In other news I'm within about 3 lbs of my lowest recorded weight back in 2009. Even though my weight is just a bit higher, my percentage of body fat is lower than it was around the same time. Back then, it was 48.6%. This morning, it was 47.1% That is an improvement, I guess.

I'm still discouraged that I'm not seeing more progress.

Next week, I am going to start the Ease into 10K program. Even though I'm still not able to run 5K in 30 minutes, I figure the best thing I can do is increase my workout time. The 10K training program sets a goal of running for an hour without stopping.

My personal goal is that I would like to be able to run 5 miles without stopping.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Wednesday, Another Run

I'm still on my C25K week 7 holding pattern, so I walked for about 5 minutes, ran for 25, and staggered home. By the time I made it back to the house, I was dripping with sweat. When I wiped my face, I left a huge wet spot on my shirt. It's amazing how sweaty I get during these workouts.

I've been doing a good job sticking to my diet (counting calories mostly, while trying to keep carbohydrates and fat under control) but I'm still not seeing the losses I'd like to see. I feel like I should increase my exercise again, but I'm just so tired most of the time I don't know what else I can do.

I'm running three days a week, and walking the other four. On the days I run, I cover about two miles. On the days I walk, I'm doing about two or three miles, depending on the day. Regardless of whether I walk or run, I come home red-faced and sweaty every time.

Everybody has told me that the running should be getting easier. This is now the eighth week I've been doing it, but honestly it doesn't seem easier at all. Every morning I'm glad for having done it, but I certainly don't enjoy exercise while I am doing it. I dread going out and am relieved when it's over.

Maybe this will become more fun after I lose some more weight.

I hope so!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slogging Along

This week, I feel like I'm slogging through mud. I've been extremely tired, and I've really felt like I've had to struggle through my workouts. I've been doing Couch to 5K with an Internet buddy, and because of various things going on in her life, she's gotten a bit behind on the runs.

I'm running a holding pattern (basically repeating week 7) while she's catching up. On Monday, I walked for 5 minutes, jogged for 25, and then walked the rest of the way home. Total workout time was about 39 minutes or so, and I really struggled. I wanted to give up every step of the way, but I didn't.

This morning, we walked for 2.29 miles, and it seemed like a real struggle. I came home all hot and sweaty, even though I only averaged 2.69 MPH.

Everything is just so darn difficult. My legs are so sore that I hobble around the house like a cripple in between workouts.

Why is this so hard?

In the weight loss department, I'm slowly losing. It just seems so frustrating, though. I feel like I have been dieting forever, and I haven't made all that much progress. The bulk of the weight I've lost so far was right after I started thyroid medication, and since the beginning of September my weight hasn't really changed all that much.

I'm trying to work up to walking three miles a day on my non-running days, but most mornings I don't really have that much energy. I'm tired all the time.

Oh, and get this: the doctor I saw last week said that fatigue is not a symptom of being hypothyroid. I call bullshit.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Couch to 5K - Week 7

Well it's actually hard to believe, given my history with starting and stopping exercise and diet programs, but I'm still doing the Couch to 5K program. I've completed everything to Week 7, Day 1. This means that I'm now "running" for 25 minutes at a stretch.

I put the term "running" in quotes because I'm not going very fast. It happened Monday I decided to do my run on the treadmill, and after walking my warm-up time on the "warm up" setting of the treadmill, I couldn't even keep up with the slowest "fat burn" setting.

I suck. The truth is that I can't run a whole lot faster than I can walk. It's pretty pathetic, but at least I'm making an effort.

In other areas, I have some good news and bad news.

The Good News

The good news is that I've lost 20 lbs since my last doctor's visit.

The Bad News

I'm still trying to find the right dose of thyroid medication and I continue to feel like crap. This morning I went to see my Nurse Practitioner, and she informed me that I am now hyperthyroid. Since I'm still showing many of the hypothyroid symptoms, she referred me to an MD who works in the clinic. I'm really kind of irritated about this, because I'm tired of feeling crummy and I'm tired of having to hassle with this folks week after week in a futile attempt to get my medications right.

The question I want answered is, if I am now hyperthyroid and still dieting, why haven't I seen any incredible weight loss over the past few weeks? The truth is, the 20 lbs I lost happened within the first month. My weight loss as absolutely stalled since Labor Day, so it doesn't make any sense.

I'll go see the doctor (and miss some more work, which will make me insanely popular) and we'll see what happens.

But goodness, I'm getting VERY tired of this!