Tuesday, April 5, 2011

getting off the couch, part ii.

 Yes, this is how I run.

So, yesterday, I mentioned that Jordan and I started jogging together in college.

Long before we were the Annie and Jordan who dated for five years and got married, we were the Annie and Jordan who were “just friends.” And as my friend, Jordan loaned me some book he had about different body types and what form of exercise worked for each one. I can’t remember if I really read any of it, but I do remember Jordan convincing me that jogging was a good idea.

I think I have the body of a runner. I am short and thin, with long, gangling legs and even longer, more gangling arms. You would think that long, gangling limbs would a decent runner make, but really? They just make for a funny looking one.

On more than one occasion, I have been told I run like Phoebe. During another bout with jogging, a guy  informed me that I looked like a chicken.

I try very hard to be one of those people who doesn’t care what most people think about them, but those words stuck with me for a long time. Why would I engage in an activity that made me look like, at best, TV’s most lovable spaz, and, at worst, the world’s most obnoxious barnyard animal?

So I refrained from jogging, until Jordan convinced me it was a good idea.

And I liked it… kind of. (Mostly I think I did it to prove to Jordan that I could.)

But, as with every other athletic activity I have tried, my affair with jogging was brief, and now here I am, 25 years old with muscle-less arms and legs and a rather strong aversion to the gym.

Enter Couch to 5k, a supposedly miraculous program that could have me out of my house and onto the pavement (or grass, or trail) in nine weeks.

I started researching the program last year, and now, I think I might be ready to do this thing.

And even though Jordan was a great jogging buddy, I might have to do this alone. I have discovered that I cannot run and talk at the same time. It’s impossible. I get out of breath and begin walking almost immediately. Nope, I don’t think I was meant to run with a partner. Just like Phoebe was better off running around Central Park without Rachel, I’m better off running alone.

This, though, is where you come in.

How do I make this work? How do I make this athletic commitment stick? Should I run with my iPod? How do I keep it from jostling around everywhere? What shoes should I wear? Should I carry a water bottle? What about my cell phone? How do you run with all of this stuff? Is there a certain type of music that will make this painless?

Seriously, I need to know your tricks for this trade. I’m thinking about starting in a couple of weeks (days?), before the Florida heat becomes so sweltering that I give up and head to the pool.*

What are your running recommendations?

* Swimming I can do, and actually, fairly well. Amazing, I know.


Cindy P said...

This is so coincidental but yesterday I blogged about starting the Couch to 5k program myself. I started the program yesterday as well. It wasn't hard but it just about killed me! I'm so out of shape but I'm hoping it gets easier as the weeks go on. It should though as my body gets used to it. Even though it made me feel really horrible during the routine I felt great afterward. I'm excited to be able to run a 5k!

If you want any running tips Lynn over at www.thatlynngirl.com blogs about running and she even has a page dedicated to becoming a runner with great tips on starting out. I've gotten lots of ideas on what to do from her. =)

Good luck on this exciting journey! It's fun to know a blog friend who's doing it, too!

Jessica said...

use one of those arm bands that hold your ipod. works like a charm for matthew.

Karissa Jade Ferguson said...

I started Couch to 5k recently. Saturday I did 2.5 miles in 38 minutes and it won't be long before I can do 3.1 in less time than that! I'm signed up for a 5k on May 31st. The program really works and it's not overwhelming at all. I don't run with music. I want to train my mind while I run so I thought it would be better for me to do it without music. Check out this blog http://thismamamakesstuff.com/ she has tons of helpful stuff on running. Good luck! You can do it!

Staley Mc said...

I got into running last year and I've kind of fallen out of it and want to get back into it.

I would definitely invest in an armband that holds your ipod, those are really handy and they don't ever really slip off your arm!

I've had 2 pairs of good running shoes, last year when I got really into it, I got a pair of Asics and they are really comfortable. Now I have a pair of Nike Free Run which I think I like better because they are really light it's like you aren't wearing shoes, kind of!

Good luck starting Couch to 5k, I have a lot of friends who have done it and loved it!

Karissa Jade Ferguson said...

Oh and Kyle said I run like a pixie sometimes ha. Apparently every now and then my legs and fingers do something weird. I think it's improving though! haha

Sugar Mama said...

Okay, so, we sound JUST alike in this area. Except I am 31 and STILL struggling with sticking to a workout.

A little background on me: I grew up with parents that were workout fanatics, I've always been fairly thin, and I've always loved food. Because of my parents I know working out is vital to my overall health, but I still love food, and I still hate the gym.

Here is what you can try: the iPod with your very favorite motivational music, a picture that inspires you hanging where you'll see it every day, someone to hold you accountable, and prayer.

When I hit 30 the pounds started to creep on. I NEVER thought I'd have to struggle with my weight, but I can see that it's beginning, so I must move my body if I want to keep eating cake for breakfast. ;o)

You can do it. Tell yourself you can do it. Instead of reminding yourself how much you don't like to work out, decide that you DO enjoy it. You will be strong... and you'll LOVE that feeling!

*Priscilla* said...

I just recently started running again, and I'm doing a plan that's very similar to the couch to 5k. I'm like you in that I have to run by myself because I get too out of breath talking while I run. Like Karissa, I run without an iPod, but I know that many people like running with theirs. I don't because my taught me a breathing exercise to use while I run to keep my heart rate lower, and I can't do that while trying to listen to my iPod at the same time! :) I would say try the iPod at first and see if you like running with it; if not, ditch it! As far as running shoes, my bf and I really like the Asics Gel Nimbus shoes, but they're a little pricy. A way for you to make the commitment stick is to try keeping a log of your whole plan on a spreadsheet...you will HATE putting a zero for not running! :) I would say no on the water bottle...until you're finished with your run. But that's just me! :) Hope some of this was helpful!

Whitney said...

Ohhhh! I'm no runner, but Couch to 5K is amazing. I never finished b/c I pulled something in my knee (not running for a week and then jumping back into the program...smart, Whitney)
But it helped me get more running done than ever before!

Brooke Premo said...

Haha, I love Pheobe running. I'm doing couch to 5k too! Although, I'm taking the long route. I've been on week two for two weeks.

Good luck!

Laken said...

I was looking into potential 5k races last night. I found one that I think Tyler and I are going to run in (my first!) BUT it's on April 30th.
Yep. That's 4 weeks. And I can't tell you the last time I ran anywhere.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Elizabeth Dean said...

I feel like you practically wrote this post, begging for my help.

Never fear, I am here.

Ok: music, to pod or not is your choice. I for one hate jogging without it but I will if I have to. I just find it makes things go a bit faster (the time, not my legs). If you decide to pod I do not suggest the arm bands. Waste of money. 1) I find them uncomfortable 2) they only hold one thing 3) if you decide you want to change your volume or skip a song they are ridiculously frustrating to get into and change without stopping. I recommend a spibelt. A spibelt is a glorified fanny pack but it is way smoother, less bulky, and grows or shrinks wiht what it holds. I love mine and I wear it even when I am not running, like to Disney world. I bought my dad one for his birthday and he doesn't jog at all. www.spibelt.com usually shipping is free, costs about 20 bucks, which is comparable to those stupid arm things. Also, unlike the arm band, the spibelt will hold other things, like your phone or keys. Also, very easy to get to from your waist.

Water- hydration makes things a lot easier and more comfortable and will be more essential the closer we get to May and throughout September. I don't like to carry a bottle though so I usually do one of two things a) track a route with a loop that goes back to my house/car and get a swig from my bottle or b) if I am jogging at Lake Ella I put my water bottle on top of my car and everytime I jog by (it's only 1/6 of a mile so only 6-7 minutes for me, and I'm slow) I have the option to drink if I want to. No one has ever bothered my bottle. Lugging a bottle in your hand is cumbersome. There are other things to do, like camelpaks, if you really got into running and jogged longer distances, but no need just yet.

Shoes: i love asic gels and have worn them for years. A friend of mine has those barefoot running shoes and while I think they look hideous she really likes them. Invest in good, not cotton, socks if you want to jog for more than 40 minutes. Cotton holds water and will increase the likelihood of blisters. Last I checked, foot comfort was pretty imperative.

Watch: get one that has a stop watch feature on it with a clearly readable face (i.e. digital). If you have to pinch your eyes to read it while standing still it will be that much worse while trying to move as well. I have one you can borrow if you like.

Also, there are a lot of specialized gadgets and gizmos marketed to joggers/runners to help you achieve a better time. Instead of things like that (unless you want to get serious and jog more than a 5k, not to diminish them but the distance is so short that not much equipment is needed for an experience that roughly lasts 30-40 minutes for most folks) I suggest you focusing on things that make running safer and more comfortable. I.e. a good runner's hat that keeps sweat out of your eyes, keeps the sun off your skin, and is light and cool. Or a spibelt or a runner's ID (a bracelet that has your emergency contact info, I want one really bad- don't imagine the worst things that could happen but just think if you fell down, at least someone would be able to easily see Jordan and Susie's phone numbers, know your name, etc without having to go into your phone or wallet).

I love the idea of you jogging, we could meet up at Lake Ella, jog independently (because I hate trying to jog and have a conversation) and then meet up to discuss whatever. awesome blossom.

sarahsoprano said...

You must get Nicole Blum's couch to 5k podcasts! They're perfect... I just started the program as well and they've helped so much- it's mostly fun pop music so it keeps you motivated. ALSO you don't have to worry about keeping track of how long you've been running or walking because she puts countdowns in the track and then the music changes whenever you're supposed to switch from walking to jogging and vice versa. Anyway the best part is they're free and she has one for each part of the program! You can get them here:


Good luck!!

jenna said...

I ended up not really following the Couch to 5K thing. I got frustrated and found it easier to just come up with my own system. (When it comes to pushing myself, I like to set my own goals. I don't like people telling me what to do.) But I hear it is a really good way to train!

I used to run with my ipod (and upbeat pop music was my fav. Fire Burning - good stuff.) But now I don't. I like to clear my mind a bit more instead.

If I run on a track, I leave a water bottle in one corner and pick it up every once in a while. If I am running around the neighborhoods, I just drink before and after instead of carrying it.

I wear a passport holder around my waist to keep my cell phone and apt key in. Under my t-shirt, no one sees it and I still feel safe.

I have a friend I run with, but if she gets ahead of me, I just keep going at my own pace. Run your own race, you know? We usually start off walking a little and using that time to talk, then we run without talking, and then end with some walking/talking wrap up. Good stuff. I find that I do better with someone than by myself. I don't feel as much pressure to push myself when I am alone.

Enjoy! :)

katie said...

Good job, Annie! I love running! For accountability, I started keeping a "running mileage" excel spreadsheet (nerd) to track my progress. If i notice that I'm getting slack, it motivates me to keep my spreadsheet looking good.... did that make sense?

I couldn't run without music... anything with a good beat. I don't know if you watch Glee, but anything from that show makes me happy. And I wouldn't carry a water bottle because your arms will get tired. If you need it, leave it on top of your car or the bottom of your driveway (wherever you're going to run) and stop by if you need a drink.

And for shoes, my gym guy convinced me to go to a specialty running store and get fit. I tried out about 10 different pairs, jogged up and down the street, and did different tests to get the right one, but I love them! Well worth the expense!

Good luck!

AbbieBabble said...

Hooray for running! I started when I was little (nine), then did it on and off until last summer, when I started to get really into it again. I love it now. I always just carry my iPod, and I don't usually worry too much about water (though I don't live in the south- I suspect hydrating is so much more important there!)

Enjoy! (Really: if you don't enjoy running, why do it? Try it out, and if you don't like it, do something else. Like swimming. But I hope you like it as much as I do!)