Couch to 5 Miler: Week 5

Another week of Couch to 5 Miler down, and a bit of an interesting one. Let’s jump right in, shall we? This past week was supposed to look like this:

Thursday: cross-train
Friday: run 35-40 minutes
Saturday: rest
Sunday: run 5 miles (according to plan) or run 4 miles (according to instructor)
Monday: cross-train
Tuesday: cross-train
Wednesday: class

How did it look for me?

Thursday: After two speed workouts in a row, plus residual soreness from the soccer game on Sunday, I wasn’t feeling 100%. I did the stretching exercise my gait retraining guru gave me to strengthen my shins, then foam rolled my hips, and then decided to try an arm workout. Yeah, no. I did some arm circles to warm up and then did like 4 pushups before realizing that my right arm still couldn’t support any weight. I didn’t want to do anything involving my legs, and felt too lazy to do core stuff, so that was that. I tried, right?

Friday: I hit the gym for some quality time with the treadmill. I walked with increasing speed for 5 minutes to warm up, then started running with a goal of 35 minutes, or 40 if I felt good. I was trying out my new kicks so there was a slight adjustment time during my run, but they eventually felt great and when I got to 35 minutes I was determined to hit 40. And I did! With all kinds of help from Ledley and the Kings, whose song I listened to on repeat for the last 10 minutes or so. SUCH a great tune for me to run to… put a definite spring in my step!

(Playing the song on repeat and bouncing giddily along on the treadmill, however, did nothing to help the Spurs in their cup final on Sunday 😦 )

I also managed to find a spot out the window to focus on, and I was able to stare at it as I ran without getting dizzy or wandering around the belt too much, so that was a success! I also felt great after the run… until I got home. Then my legs were angry. But my workout was done and I was chuffed.

New shoes doin' their thang

New shoes doin’ their thang

Saturday: My second appointment with the gait retraining guru. We went over the exercises she had given me last time, though other than my shin muscle stretch and the foam rolling, I hadn’t done any of the other exercises or drills because they were making my spazzy back hurt. Luckily that wasn’t a problem and the trainer decided to have me focus on the exercises themselves without adjusting my hips first, which is what I was supposed to be doing. Bridges, butt kicks, single-leg lifts, knee drives, and monster walks all felt okay but apparently did a number on my legs, because…

Sunday: …my long run was a disaster.

My run summed up perfectly (source)

My run summed up perfectly (source)

The Shammies gather every Sunday at 9am for a group run of 5-6 miles, so I decided to tag along with them and try for 5. It was awesome at first, running out together in a big line with cars honking cheerily and people waving at us (we’re famous in town, apparently). Our group ended up splitting, with some doing 13 miles and some doing 6. I went the 6 route, figuring I’d turn around early. Then dear God, it all started to hurt.


I had worn my trail running shoes, assuming we’d be running on sidewalks and figuring I could use the extra traction. Turns out we stick to roads, which are mostly clear except for the occasional ice patch, but I quickly realized that my trail running shoes have almost no cushion and the frozen asphalt was pretty darn hard. My ankles were taking a beating and I could hear my right foot slapping the pavement in an odd way, which made me nervous. That, along with my sore leg muscles from all the work the previous day, plus my sore right hip flexor which might be injured, and it was all a recipe for disaster.

Thank God for fellow Shammie Nancy, who was also struggling and who stuck with me. We pushed each other along and together made it just shy of 4.5 miles. I was tempted to push on until I hit an even 4.5, but my right ankle was killing me by that point and I didn’t want to injure myself, so 4.36 it was. A miserable 4.36 at that. I guess every run can’t be great, eh? Hopefully the next one will be better.

Monday: Instead of cross-training, I went straight to a Shammies board meeting after work so that my friend Kristen and I could pitch the idea of doing a run-club book club. I had seen an article on Runner’s World about a long run book club and, since Kristen (a fellow Shammie) had recently started coming with me to my book club, I sent it on to her in a “haha, look at this” kind of way. Well, she sent it on to one of the big-kahuna Shammies, who loved the idea and told us to pitch it. So we did!

It was interesting to sit in on a board meeting and see how the club is run. Stuff you don’t really think about when you’re just a regular member who shows up and runs – fundraising, bank accounts, which races to add to the club grand prix, etc. The board seemed to like our idea of a book club, so now we’re tasked with figuring it all out… yikes! It will be interesting to see what comes of it!

Tuesday: Well. Tuesday was an interesting day. On the way to my bus stop in the morning, I started coughing and then got a piercing pain in my ribs. It didn’t go away as the morning went on, so I called my doctor and ended up being diagnosed with costochondritis (I wrote my last post about it and all the woe it was causing me that day). Basically my body is rebelling at all the coughing I’ve been doing, and I’m on doctor’s orders not to run for 7-10 days. Which meant no speedwork with the Shammies. 😦

However, Drew spoiled my woebegone self with a dinner of coconut rice and mango, and we caught up on a bunch of TV shows, so the night was not lost. Happy-wise, anyway.

Wednesday: I emailed my 5-miler instructor on Tuesday to tell her about my rib fiasco, and she invited me to come to class anyway to walk, since the weather was supposed to be decent and the class was going to run outside. So while they ran across the bridge and did hill work, I strolled around and took pictures of the frozen vista before me:

walkAfter work, I decided to tag along with Drew to the gym. I was worried about not meeting this week’s GetFit minute goal due to my dodgy ribs, but the doctor had said I could use the exercise bike or “stair-master-type-things” so I figured I’d give it a go.

Readers, next time I want an easy cycle, remind me not to use the Expresso machines. Ouch.

uprightI love these bikes because they’re essentially video games – you can choose different courses and follow along on the screen, turning the handle bars and pedaling up and down hills. Being focused on the game makes the cycling-in-place seem so much more interesting! Well, the levels aren’t necessarily easy when you’re injured, and though I didn’t notice at the time because I was so zeroed in on the game, all the pedaling fast up hills didn’t help my ribs much. Owowow. 6.4 miles though. Not too bad, despite the delayed-onset pain.

If my body were whole, here’s what I’d be doing this next week:

Thursday: cross-train
Friday: run 40-45 mins
Saturday: rest
Sunday: run 6 miles (according to plan) / run at least 4 miles (according to instructor)
Monday: cross-train
Tuesday: cross-train
Wednesday: class

I don’t expect to do most of that because of the doctor’s no-running orders, but we’ll see if I can find non-hurt-y methods of cross-training in the meantime.

Would you ever want to be part of a running book club? Would you want to read about running, or would that be overkill?

Have you ever used an Expresso bike, or something similar?
If you’re an Expresso user, let’s race! I’m #91512. And slow.

Who has fun weekend plans? Anyone racing?


13 thoughts on “Couch to 5 Miler: Week 5

  1. I’ve never seen those bikes- I want one! That sounds fun, I wish my gym had those, I might actually cross train more. I do like reading about running but I like the books that are more story than science. Get some rest and hopefully you feel better soon!

    • A friend of mine had told me about similar bikes a few years back and I had been so jealous… and so excited when I saw my new gym had them! They definitely encourage me to cross train more πŸ™‚ I’m with you on liking the story vs science running books more; the sciencey ones are interesting as reference but I wouldn’t want to sit down and read them cover to cover necessarily. And thanks! I hope I do too πŸ™‚

  2. Hope you’re feeling better quick enough to get a run or two in, but take it easy! I’ve seen those bikes before when we belonged to the YMCA, but we don’t go there anymore. Would have been fun to actually know someone who uses it, maybe even get me to try it!

    • Thank you! I’m definitely taking it easy because it hurts to do much of anything. My body’s way of enforcing rest! πŸ˜‰ Too bad we can’t be Expresso buddies!

  3. OMG…the run club, book club!!!! I saw that article, and I want to do that SO BAD. In fact, I may crash yours, post some details…haha. Okay, now, back to reading your post. Yeah, I stopped after reading about the book club to leave a comment immediately, that’s how exciting I find this news.

    • Crash away!! For real, you would be most welcome if you ever wanted to come along πŸ™‚ I’m super excited about it too!

    • They’re both pretty fab! After years of using slightly crap gyms, I’m pleased with what my current one has to offer πŸ™‚

      And thank you! Me too πŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: Couch to 5 Miler: Week 6 | Slow and Steady(ish)

  5. Pingback: Friday Five of Randomness | Slow and Steady(ish)

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