So I guess I'm a runner now. It was hard for me to get my head around that but I can't really deny it anymore. A friend greeted me last week with "So I see you're into the running now". My initial response was "Ah no, I wouldn't say that now". He'd been following my diary here and my Facebook posts linked to the map my run app. He persisted; "You go out running. That means you're into the running. That means you're a runner now."
I still think he was taking the piss but I can't really disagree with him now. My wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Seeing as I have the Balls.ie Guide to Life book, I responded "some running stuff, I suppose." I don't really know what that entails yet but I'm into the running now so need the bits and pieces to go with it.
Week Five, Day One - Sunday, 6th December
After a shocking weekend of weather (and a few drinks on Friday), I was itching to get out on Sunday. Today's session was 5 minutes run, 3 minutes walk, 5 minutes run, 3 minutes walk, 5 minutes run. Last week was my first time running 5 minutes and now I was about to do it three times in 20 odd minutes. I set out to our local park (I say park, it's basically a couple of football fields and some hilly lands around it) because I wanted to try and keep to grass. Unfortunately the weekend's downpour left the grassy parts in puddles so I stuck to the tarmac paths around the hills. Found it easy enough to be honest and didn't feel tired at all afterwards.
Week Five, Day Two - Tuesday, 8th December
Was really looking forward to this run. Wind was OK and felt good. When told to run first I set off at a decent pace. I kept to my traditional route down to some grasslands. I know (roughly) how far 5 minutes running brings me in and I was way past that spot. Was I suddenly very quick? No, I was not. I looked at the app and realised I had been running for over 7 minutes. I couldn't believe it.
The programme for today was 8 minutes run, 5 minutes walk, 8 minutes run. I had assumed that all week 5 was the same but it ramps up quite considerably now. I finished the 8 minute run fairly handily and completed the second one too. That was a bit more of a struggle but wow, I had just ran for 8 minutes twice! I think not knowing the time helped me out here.
Week Five, Day Three - Thursday, 10th December
2o minutes!! The third session of week five required me to run for 20 minutes. There were no surprises today but 20 MINUTES! After the 5 minute warm up I started off quite conservatively. Six sessions ago I struggled to run 5 minutes and now I was being asked to run 20 minutes straight.
The weather and ground conditions were much better today so I was able to stick to a mix of grass and tarmac. I was feeling comfortable at the half way point (although still happy to be told of that milestone) and it wasn't really until the 16 minute mark that I felt particularly tired. My calf muscles started to groan but I pushed through. I was delighted to hear the "one minute left" call and when time was up I came to an almost complete standstill. I had done it though. In five weeks I had gone from no exercise to running 20 minutes straight. I felt pretty damn good about myself once showered and fed!