Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day One, Week One...A long story for a short experience.

Would you like to hear about my very first day of running? Would you? If not go back now, that’s what this post is about.

In case you’re just tuning in, I have decided that since the female lead in Project Kittinger (her name is Zee) is a runner I must run to get fully inside her head and write her as realistically as possible. Zee is actually a barefoot runner. I’m not brave enough to try that yet but I will work up to running in Vibram Five Fingers. Yes, I know I will have to relearn how to run. Look, they’re red!!!
I’m using the Couch to 5K ™ Running Plan. I haven’t done any dedicated running in twenty-three years and I wasn’t so great at it then. I need baby steps. Though ironically, babies probably run with much greater ease than I do, at least the ones I know. I’m lookin’ at your baby, R.S. and L.B. In my head I call the plan Couch to 5 miles, because I prefer the goal of running five miles. I don't care about marathons with the possible exception of the Dirty Girl Mud Run. Because…Dirty Girl Mud Run. Must I elucidate?
I have my exercise clothes, my exercise shoes, my mp3 player filled with makes-me-dance music, an armband for said mp3 player, and a chronograph.
It went much better than I’d hoped and yet was as bad as I feared. Six am and the morning is wrapped in fog. Thank you, Mother Nature! My own little insulating cloak of invisibility. Or so I choose to believe. The nature spirits are supporting me! It was meant to be! I will sell my book and become a famous author and make art and play Xbox anytime I want!
Yeah, okay, the running. Begin with a brisk five minute walk. Then stretch. It doesn’t include stretching in the printed training plan, but I’m a massage therapist, damnit. I know better than to not stretch before and after working out.
And…off to the races! Sort of. Physically I was fine. During the sixty second runs I shuffled along a little faster than, say, a zombie (a really sexy zombie!). Seriously, the neighborhood three-legged cat could outpace me. That’s an actual animal in the neighborhood, we have one of those.
Mentally? The Back of the Brain Bitch was not happy. She screamed the whole time. “No! I hate this! Stop it! You think you’re going to sell a book? You’re crazy! This isn’t going to work!” She spilled her vodka and threw things at me. In my head.
Let me pause my story for a moment to give you a proper introduction to my Inner Bitch. You know the Stephen King book The Dark Half. She’s like that, but she hasn’t managed to escape my head and become corporeal, so there’s hardly any stabbing. Okay, there’s been zero stabbing, maybe that’s not a precise example.  

Inner Bitch prefers candles to underlighting.
Have you seen The Enemy Within, from Star Trek: The Original Series? A transporter malfunction (of course!) separates the two halves of Captain Kirk’s personality (soul, mind, intellect, whatever you prefer to call it), the “good and evil”parts, into two bodies, both Kirk. His evil half is totally impulse driven, selfish, aggressive, and prone to violent emotional outbursts. This is more like what I experience.
The Inner Bitch looks like me when I was at my lowest weight. She’s thirty-five. She has the mass of long curls I had at that age. She wears too much eyeliner, great black smudgy rings.  She’s lazy, lounging around in nothing but an oversized flannel shirt. She drinks lots of vodka and smokes too much. Her room is shadowy and full of two foot solid cubes of plastic and pillows. She plays her music way too loud, cusses a like a sailor, and wants, and wants, and wants…she is roils with greedy wanting. She pounds on the walls, kicks, throws things. She doesn’t eat but she damn sure tries to get me to eat all manner of unhealthy things.
I’ve put way too much thought into this. But Kirk needed his dark half; he needed his aggression for balance. I don’t know how much I need mine. But for some reason I just can’t let her go.
Now, after that very long aside, back to our running story. So the Inner Bitch is pissing and moaning through the whole twenty minutes. I experienced that odd sensation of time dilation again, the sixty second running segments seemed to drag on forever, the 90 second walking segments flew by. But I experienced no gasping (just normal elevated breathing), no exhaustion, very little pain, during or after. Twenty minutes passed faster than I thought it would. Brisk walk back to the house. More stretching. Gods help me, Inner Bitch whined through the stretching too. “Shut UP! We like stretching!” Really, we do. She just couldn’t stop complaining.
Tonight I have very little achiness, just the normal underused muscles expressing their discontent. I have slightly more pain in my shins, which can be helped with better stretching of tibialis anterior.
And…that’s it. That’s the end. Good night!


  1. I hate the Inner Bitch. I am glad you did not listen to yours this morning. Incredibly proud of you.

  2. You did much MUCH better than I did with the beginning of C25K and I looked *forward* to getting some of those runs in.

    As you know, run and train for marathons now. If you can complete C25K, you can get to 5 miles too. For a little extra goal, you could consider doing a 10K (6.2 miles) or 1/4 marathon (6.55 miles).

    I know a REALLY fun 1/4 marathon.
    You run at night.
    In the middle of winter.
    On a trail.
    With one of your BFFs and her farm boy.

    The race is in January ;)

    1. Well, I didn't have any pain then, but I'm feeling it now. It's increased by the floor pilates workout I did on my off day and now I've had a second day of running. I did manage to go a bit faster on day 2 (meaning when I finished the 20 minutes I was much closer for the walk back to the house and got back ten minutes sooner than day one), though I think it was because I was able to walk faster on the 90 second segments. Because I wasn't pushing it on the 60 seconds, though they didn't feel draggy like the first day.

      Hm...night in the middle of winter could be interesting...that's very different. That could applicable to my character. I like different.

    2. Dear silly girl,

      In C25K your day off is supposed to be rest. Especially when starting the process, you really REALLY need those rest days.

      As it was explained to me, running days tear up your body. Your rest days are the days that the body uses to repair the damage.

      When you see "rest" in your play, you rest! From my own experience I would even recommend taking an extra rest day if you are feeling especially sore!

      As you get close to the end of the program, I think you can fudge those rest days a bit as your body isn't working so hard to heal. At least skipping a rest day in week 7 didn't seem to bother me as much as skipping a rest day earlier in the program did.

    3. But, but, but...I want to do MORE! More is supposed to be better! I don't feel torn up or sore.

      All right, FINE. I'll rest! But I refuse to enjoy it. Also, when I'm done I'm going to come down there and run your old man ass into the ground.

      Actually I probably won't be able to do that ever, given my health issues. But it was fun to say.