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30 June 2011


Most of you are probably at least remotely aware that I'm not the most athletic person in the world by a long shot. Nevertheless, this past winter I found myself getting a little bit stir-crazy. Wanting to run, walk, get-out-of-the-house — whatever — but not being able to do so, primarily because it was winter.

I kept myself busy (with all sorts of stuff I haven't bothered blogging about, as usual) and made it through the winter. Most days, though, I still felt a general sense of malaise. And then in May I stepped on a scale and finally confirmed my suspicion that I was a little bit heavier than I had remembered. (The technical phrase for the amount is "a couple kilograms" which, of course, translates to "a few pounds"; thankfully nothing more.)

So I looked at my schedule and picked a date to start the Couch-to-5k Running Plan, which had actually been in the back of my mind ever since my friend Jen posted to Facebook well over a year ago. And when that day came... it rained. But I did it the next day!... in the humid afternoon heat at 16:00 on the day of the summer solstice which made it downright miserable. To say nothing of the fact that I was also out-of-shape and attempting a moderately taxing workout.

I mean, I'm still out-of-shape now. Just a little bit less out-of-shape. I've got a lot of work to do, but I figure I'd better do it while I still can.

And you know what? It feels great. I've always known this, really, but the stresses of life have often taken their toll and prevented me from getting out as often as I'd've otherwise liked. But now, there are no excuses. I'm doing this for me.

Of course, that's not always easy with everyone else who's involved in my life. With the exception of that first workout, I've typically been starting about half an hour before sunset, which is around 20:30 EDT here right now. Unfortunately, twice already that has come within about 5 minutes of dinnertime in this household. Faced with the choice between running now and eating later or eating now and not being able to run until nearly midnight, I've picked running. And hungry as I've been during some of those runs (tonight was spaghetti and meat sauce), I haven't regretted it yet.

Hopefully the same will hold true in Week 4, when I'm going to be counseling at Lambec Music Camp and will have to wake up with the sun at 05:45 to get my workouts in before the bustle of the camp day begins. I must persevere!

Now assuming I can keep to the nine-week Ct5k schedule (which may not happen since you're encouraged to repeat weeks if necessary), I'd be at the end of Week 7 for the 5k at Dan Rice Days on 6 August, which would have me running 4 km (2.5 mi) straight, but perhaps I'll register just for the fun of it. Obviously, that'll be a decision I make much closer to the day of the event, but it would be an experience nonetheless.

I've been tracking my progress at, an awesome site for all sorts of fitness tracking, which I've actually used since before I became terribly concerned with my fitness. For the record, I'm doing a slightly modified version of the time-based version of Ct5k, with basically the only difference being that I'll be planning the "straight through" routes in Weeks 5–9 by distance in metric, since the actual Ct5k program peters out at 3 mi. (Which — I'm sorry — is only 4.83 km. I know, I'm a stickler. Sue me.)

Here's my planned Ct5k workout calendar, all nicely worked around the oddities of my schedule and everything. We'll see where I am physically on 20 August, but whether I'm running 5 km or not, hopefully I'll be a lot better off!


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