So as I’m typing yesterday’s missive, I just kept thinking to myself… “you’re doing it wrong… you’re over-thinking this…”

So, again… I take a moment to take stock.  The C25K program was not designed for folks like me, but shouldn’t be outside of my reach.  I should be able to do it, but it’s kicking my butt… so what do I know?

  • The program is fixed.  There aren’t really any optional routes.  It is what it is, and it dictates the period of time spent running.
  • Heel strikes don’t work for me because my knees complain, but a forefoot strike feels pretty good.
  • Longer strides feel more natural than shorter strides.
  • I started at 5mph but increased to 5.2 to lengthen my stride.
  • Aerobically, I’m weak.  The 5.2 is kicking my butt.  It takes a lot of energy to move my bod at that rate.  My heart rate shoots up immediately and leaves me gasping for air.

So that’s what I know.  The answer is kinda obvious, isn’t it?  I’ll give you a hint.  It involves swallowing my pride… not my strong point.

So, having decided on a course of action, I loaded up the c25k app, selected week 4 day 1 which requires me to run for longer sessions than previous.  If you recall, I’ve been fighting 2 minutes and today requires a 4 followed by 6 followed by 4.  It seemed pretty impossible…

So, I set the speed to 4.8 mph.  I know this is slow… and it’s made even slower by controlling the pace to maintain a long stride, but this is an experiment.  Here are the results:

Victorious Heart Chart

The first thing you may notice is that it was completely and totally successful.  I managed the three runs without adding in extra walk-time or falling off the edge of the treadmill.  Heck, I even cranked up the treadmill to 5.0 to add an extra 2 minute run… LIKE A BOSS!

The next thing you may notice is that my heart rate actually went higher than it has with my other running.  So, how does that make sense?  Well, it went up a bit more gradually.  It was a controlled rise which allowed me to push beyond a bit.  When it was over, I was left feeling winded, and tired, but not completely drained.  I did my work, but didn’t push to collapse.  Which is a good thing, right?

So problem solved, right?  Well, an ‘n’ of one means nothing in the big picture.  This is Monday, and it’s always easier to function on Mondays because Saturday and Sunday are non-treadmill days.  It’s a solution exactly until the moment that it is not.  It’s a useful data point, a guidepost, but it’s an ongoing experiment, and it will change as it needs.

As per the 4.8 mph, I once read that you can’t call what you are doing running until you’re going at least 5 mph.  A runner does not go below 5 mph.  Well, fair enough… I weigh over 300 pounds and can’t do a 5k without walking.  I am not a runner.  I will be, but I’m not now, and I’m okay with that.  For now, I’m a cyclist, a cartoonist, a cytometrist, a husband, a father, a friend, a son, a brother… I’m a lot of things… I’ll add runner to the list soon enough…

Now as you may remember, I had my Met Fit follow-up today.  The program isn’t over yet, but this was the next big sticking/prodding/poking point, so a few numbers.

  • 2 more inches lost off my waist since starting the program
  • several centimeters off of my neckline (didn’t take notes… can’t remember) since starting the program
  • 6 percent body fat lost since joining the program (!!!)
  • BP at 108/68
  • Cholesterol and hemoglobin alpha numbers to come in mail.  Here’s hoping.

So, I’d say that that went quite well!  Progress is being made… every day.

After the exam, I went to the gym to work out and run (as above).  I had intended to do the running, the strength training and then close out with another 30 minutes of cardio, but it was towards the end of the lower body workout that that my body decided to remind me that I was still under the influence of the pre-exam fasting and wouldn’t it be a great idea to, you know, eat something… blood sugar isn’t always a bad thing…  Woo… things are a bit wibbly now… I really should eat something… seriously, if someone could stop this bench from spinning, I have an apple in my bag… k?  Thanks.

So, off to lunch, and I’ll hit the dance station after I post this…

Interesting day…