So many of you may remember last year’s abortive attempt at learning to run… hmmm… that’s a weird statement… I’m pretty sure that as kids, we all knew how to run… it just seems that some of us may have… forgotten… along the way…

So anyway… I was attempting to run… I had to stop after a couple sessions, though.  It wasn’t because it was really hard (and it really was!!!), but rather because after two runs, two of my toes had turned black and the nails were falling off… ick…

Well, I’ve spent some time investigating answers to the toe situation (I’ll talk about that another day) and having found a reasonable solution, I decided to give it another go.

So, on Tuesday, I arrived at the gym and headed for the treadmill.  I loaded up my trusty Couch to 5k app (which is now called the Ease into 5k for some reason which I suspect is probably a legal thing), and climbed aboard.  Now, I’m not sure what speed qualifies as “running”, and I was only going for “jog” as opposed to “ludicrous”, so I set the running sessions for 5mph.  I also kicked the treadmill up a couple degrees of elevation as the outside world isn’t flat and…

…it wasn’t too bad.

Now the first week of couch doesn’t actually involve that much running all things considered, but it does feel like kicking the workout up a notch.  I didn’t have any real problem finishing the running segments like last time.  Now, this may be because I’m on a treadmill, so there is pace control.  It may also be because treadmills are softer than pavement.  I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that I do cardio 5 times a week though and weigh a lot less than I did.  Also, no black toes!

So… in eight weeks, I’m supposed to be ready for a 5k, so how to celebrate?  I guess I’ll have to run a 5k.  Specifically, I am signed up to run the Dexter to Ann Arbor 5k run.  This is, I’m told a fairly hilly course, but let’s face it, Ann Arbor isn’t that hilly!  I’ve paid for the run, and there’s no mandatory fundraising required, but the Ann Arbor Track club has dedicated $10,000 in matching funds for all donations, so I’m trying to raise some money for the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.  Now, Mott just re-opened in a new facility this year, and it is fabulous, but the battle is never open, and children deserve the best care we can possibly provide.  So, please consider making a donation.  Pretty please?  Remember, your donation will be matched, and it’s for the kids!  Thanks.

Now… let’s talk about Tuesday.

Heart chart for Tuesday and Thursday...

Now as you can see from the chart, I was at the gym for a while.  The running went well and was followed by the usual biking, but I had arrived pretty early, and still had a lot of time to kill.  I tried just wandering around for a bit, but it’s awkward just standing around while other people exercising, so I decided it was time to expand my strength training to include core exercises.  I grabbed the head of the program and asked him to recommend some exercises for me.  We grabbed a couple mats and got to it.  The first thing he had me do was… uhm… double crunches… okay… I don’t know what they’re called, but their crunches where you also lift your legs up while you crunch… then we did ab twisty thing.  Sit up… knees bent… medicine ball in hand.  lean back so your back is 45° to the ground, pivot your torso left and then right and back up… it’s actually kind of tough not to fall over doing those… need to work on that core!

Okay… so finished those and am adding them to my M/W/F strength regimen.  I got up to get some water and wandered a bit again… and then came to a stop at the stair climber.  I still had 15 minutes to kill, so I thought I’d read the big label/instructions thing that was posted on it… and danged if one of the trainers didn’t see me!

“Oh Dave, have you tried the climber yet?”

“uhm… no…”

“Oh, it’s great!  Here climb on board…”

That’ll teach me!  It was actually interesting.  I’d always pictured those things as an endless series of pushing down… turns out the key is lifting up… you lift your legs rather than pushing and it keeps you suspended in the climbing zone… to slow and you sink… too fast and you rise…

So fine… I do that for a few minutes, and I’m tired…

…and then it’s time for group exercise… and my quads and abs are TIRED at this point.

So, of course, for the seven stations in the circuit, 3 involve squats and 3 are ab centered… ugh… not fun!

Wednesday, I forgot my heart strap, so no chart.  Thursday is as above.

Tonight will be my third running session, the bike or elliptical or stair climber and strength… WEEEE!