Couch to 5K to Couch ~ OUCH!

Couch to 5k to Couch ~ OUCH!

You may be wondering why I haven’t posted anything lately about my 5K Training. Well, I’ll tell you …

After my last run of week 2 training (last Saturday morning), there was a little tightness in my calf and my ankle felt a little stiff, so I stretched a lot and went on with my day. But overall  I felt great! I was invigorated and ready to start week 3 following a 1 day rest, as the program recommends.

However, later that evening I couldn’t walk.  My ankle was swollen and throbbing in pain. I don’t even know what I did. I iced it, I took Motrin and rested it all day Sunday, hoping that I would be able to get back on track by Monday.

I woke up Monday morning and it was still a little sore, so I decided to take one more day off from running to make sure it healed. No such luck, after a long day at work it hurt worse, and by Tuesday I could barely put any pressure on it without a lot of pain. So I decided to call my doctor.

He said I was doing everything right, and just keep doing what I was doing: icing it, taking the Motrin and keeping it elevated as much as possible. Well, I have a job, so unfortunately I can’t just stay home and pamper my ankle, so I continued to hubble on it all week, and it continued to hurt and swell.

my new friend
Since this last weekend was a three-day holiday from work, I decided to cancel my plans, and just stay off my leg as much as possible. I watched a lot of movies. I kept ice on it (well, as I could handle), and kept it elevated… popping Motrin like M&Ms.

By Monday it started to feel a little better and today I am not limping at all. I still hurts a bit (more as the day goes on), but I’m hopeful that I will be hitting the trail one day this week.

Side note: After talking with a few of my runner friends, it sounds like I need to purchase a new pair of running shoes, as my 5-year-old cross trainers probably aren’t giving enough support.


Couch to 5K: Week 2 Day 1

“Ouch” is the word of the day for Week 2 Day 1.

Yesterday I started Week 2 of my 5K training program – using the Running Mate Media podcast as my coach. Again, following a 5-minute walking warm up, I started my first jogging period. However, in Week 2 the program increases the jogging/running time from 2 minutes to 2.5 minutes, and decreases the walking time from 3 minutes to 2.5 minutes.  You wouldn’t think that would make that big of a difference, but let me tell you – it does!

By the 2nd jogging interval, my calf muscles were really tightening up and starting to hurt. With the encouragement of the coach telling me I only hade one minute left in this segment I tried to keep jogging, but soon the pain was so strong that I had to stop and stretch for a minute or two in order to continue. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the next jogging interval; but I persisted and thought, perhaps if I increase my stride a bit  it might help the muscle ache. It seems counter intuitive, but it actually helped. My pain went away, I was running faster and I was able to finished the full 30 minute session.

Increasing the amount of time running also increased my distance from 1 mile (week 1) to 1.5 miles, in basically the same amount of time (in week 1 the program is 27 minutes).

I stretched more when I returned home and drank a lot water the rest of the day –  two pieces of advice I received from a friend who regularly runs half and full marathons.

I felt fantastic the rest of the day – I was in a great mood and I had a ton of energy.  I’m really loving this program!  Thanks !!

Couch to 5K: Week 1 Complete, 7 more to go!

I am happy to say I just completed week one of my 5K training, thanks to the help of Todd and his 5K101 podcast. (

I definitely see improvement in my stamina in just one week; and I’m looking forward to starting week 2 of the program this weekend!

Another really great thing about this program is their Facebook fan page. People at all stages of the program (including new runners like me) post their progress updates, and leave encouraging comments to each other. Some people ask for feedback on challenges they might be having, and other comment back with good suggestions. It’s a terrific fan page! You should check it out:

5K Training – Week One

I had planned to start this program over a week ago, but some obstacles in my personal life made it impossible; so Saturday morning was day one of my 8 week Couch to 5K training program.

I got a good nights sleep Friday night which made it easier to get out of bed at a decent time.  I drank a cup of coffee to assist in the wake up process, donned  my running shoes, ear buds and iPhone and set out for my first training session. (You can find this Running Mate Fitness program/podcast at or download it from iTunes – it’s free!)

I started the podcast as I started walking and immediately heard the sounds of motivating music and then the coach came on to talk me through the next 27 minutes.

The program starts off with a 5 minute warm up walk and then takes you into a series of 2 minute jogs and 3 minute brisk walks for the next 20 minutes or so, then concludes with a 5 minute walk/cooling off period.  The coach is there in the background every few minutes letting you know when you are at the half way point of each segment; I found this encouraging and it really helped keep me going. In addition, the up beat music helps keep you at a good pace as you walk and jog.

I am fortunate to live near a great park that has a running/walking  trail around the perimeter and many people utilize it to keep fit. As I walked and jogged along the path, I noticed people at all fitness levels out on this gorgeous summer morning doing something to get or keep fit.  The usual Saturday morning Yoga group began arriving, and with their mats and water bottles in hand, they arranged themselves on the grass and began their routine.

As I passed the tennis center there wasn’t an empty court to be found. In fact there appeared to be a group of people waiting for courts to open up.

And of course the trail was packed with other walkers, joggers and runners getting their dose of fitness – first thing in the morning.

All these active people out early on a Saturday morning made me feel invigorated!  Even though this first training session was only about 27 minutes, I felt like I got a good workout.  The coach instructs you at the end of the session to repeat this  podcast at least three more times this week, before moving on to Week 2. I must say, I can’t wait until my next training session!

Couch to 5K

I’ve always wanted to run a 5K but I just didn’t know how to do it without injuring myself in the process. It seems like I start out strong, but after a few days I am really sore or have such pain in my knees that I give up before I reach my goal.

Most successful runners have a training program in order to achieve their distance goals. Well last night I found something really cool, it’s a podcast that you can download onto your iPod and it guides you – week by week – through the training process. You just start the podcast and do what it tells you to do.

This training program coaches you to go from the couch to running a 5K in 8 weeks. I’m starting the program and will test it out to see how it works for someone who can’t run for more than a few blocks without feeling wiped out.

For those of you who want to join me in this process, just go to the iTunes store and do a search for 5K101 and subscribe to the pod cast. Then download each podcast and start with Week 1. These 5K training podcasts are set to high energy music; and include low, medium and high impact interval run drills. For more information on this program, please visit their website