Days 3 & 4: These were snow days here, though the 1 inch of accumulation fell short of the predicted 6-12. Many people run outside in the cold and are not fazed by a mere dusting of snow; that will never be me. One more element to deal with outdoors solidified my decision to revert back to my standard indoor 20 minute DVD with my arch enemy, Jillian Michaels, yesterday and today. Besides, my knees were starting to complain after my somewhat overzealous extra lap around the neighborhood last time.
Last night, as I was starting to feel guilty about taking a break from my running efforts so early in my so-called training, I decided to research actual training schedules for the novice who is trying to survive a 10K. The first website I looked at said I would be prepared in 8 weeks, running 4 days per week. That is, assuming I can already run 2 miles. Well now, if I could already run 2 miles without difficulty I wouldn’t call myself a beginner, and I wouldn’t feel the need to consult a website for training guidance. I moved on to the next website which offered a 7 week plan to get the beginner ready for a 10K. Their plan also called for 4 days of running per week with an additional day of cross-training thrown in. The wannabe runners who select this plan start out with 15-30 minute runs the first week. If I run at what might be viewed as an actual running pace, I can currently last in the ball-park of 3-5 minutes. Apparently I should have started training for my training program months ago. At least it was pleasant to discover that I am not, in fact, supposed to be running every day. The other piece of information that I learned was that I don’t actually have to run 6.2 miles in training in order to run a 6.2 mile race. All of the sites I checked claim that if you can run 4-5 miles, then you can surely finish a 10K. Surely. Finally something positive, even if the math is a bit off.
Obviously, I need to veer from mainstream running philosophy and develop my own non-traditional running plan. I will run as my knees and the weather allow, and I will aim for 3-4 days per week of running. I will continue to do my 20 minute workouts with Jillian intermittently when I can’t or won’t run. When I was in heart failure and barely able to walk or climb a flight of stairs, my cardiologist wanted me to do 20 minutes of exercise every day. I still frequently fell short of the daily regimen. After 6 months passed and I was still struggling, my primary care doctor told me to try to do just 10 minutes of exercise on the days when I couldn’t manage 20. That stayed with me. Even though I can now hold my own against Jillian, sometimes I cut her short after 10 minutes, because she can be annoying, and my doctor told me I can. While training, I will happily take a couple of days off per week, which seems to happen anyway most weeks. I will continue my efforts to increase my running times and decrease my walking times with the full knowledge that there is no way in hell I’ll be able to run the entire 10K by Memorial Day. Then again, I have been known to beat the odds before, so who knows?