Still running

September 7, 2011

I did not want to go for my run today. My friend had to convince me that it would not be too hot. It was around 30o Celsius. It was definitely too hot. But we were going to run on the ravine trails. And I believed her when she said it would be fine.

I didn’t back out. I got changed into my workout gear and went for my run. It was cooler in the ravine. We had to run in the direct sunlight for only a few brief moments. The rest of the time we were shaded by the trees. Even in the shade, though, it was too hot.

I convinced myself that I was enjoying the heat. After all, I have been telling my friends and family that I want “to sweat” whenever we talked about the summer weather. I was sweating today. To get through the run, I told myself how great it felt to be sweating so much. And I continued to run.

After being on the running program for seven weeks, we were up to five minutes of running followed by one minute of walking. This set was repeated four times. The first five-minute run was very difficult. I had to encourage myself to keep going. And I had to forget about the heat.

After the first set, I got into a rhythm. Although I was very slow and breathing heavy, I forgot about the time passing. When the alarm went off signaling the end of the run, I was surprised. Each set seemed shorter than the one before.

This is the beauty of this running program. I progress a little more each week, adding on only a minute or two. It never seems overwhelming. And I always feel that I could do another set when I finish. This is the second time I have completed this running program, and I have never had an injury due to running.

Because this past Monday was a holiday for Labour Day, the running group itself was not held. My friend and I will be going out again this week in order to ensure we run at least twice during the week. Otherwise, we will have trouble keeping up with the other runners in the group next Monday.

The running program is set up for people who run three times per week. If I followed the program exactly, I would have no problem increasing my running time. It’s when I have missed an entire week, or have been able to run only once over the past week, that I have difficulty keeping up.

The group is very good at ensuring that nobody gets left behind. One of the coaches stays behind the group to encourage and inspire those of us at the back of the pack. The other coach leads the group. As some people improve their running abilities more so than others, the group tends to become spread out more. This allows everyone to run at their own pace. Nobody needs to feel pressured to keep up or, in my case, feel guilty that they are slowing everyone down.

I’m hoping to build my endurance through this running program. I’m not planning on entering in any upcoming races. I simply want to get myself into a routine of running. When the weather turns bad, I will be using the running track at a local sports centre. That way, I don’t have to interrupt my running program. Maybe next summer I can target one of the races.

To read more about my running program, see my blogs titled, “Lesson learned: just start,” and “Celebrating a run.”

For more information on the running program I am following, click on the link:

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