Rookie Running: Week 4

Eric and I had a full couple of days this weekend, which was a lot of fun.  On Friday, we went out on an overdue date to celebrate his promotion and my getting a job.  He took me to Wildwood, which was a definite splurge but well worth it for a once-a-year type of date.  I absolutely recommend filing it away for your next special occasion.  All the food is locally grown and they change the menu daily.  They’re also known for having a wonderful wine selection.  We had the most knowledgeable waiter I’ve ever experienced, and one of the restaurant’s owners was circulating the dining room meeting guests and making sure they were enjoying themselves.  We shared an amazing salad with strange little mushrooms, and for dinner Eric had a grilled pork chop and I had lamb shoulder with all sorts of amazing stuff like crushed pistachios and orange zest and mint.  We tried two different Pinot Noirs (our favorite) that our waiter recommended to pair with the salad and the entrees.  We finished with a rhubarb pistachio hand pie and coffee.  Delicious.  Saturday we watched the England/U.S. World Cup game at McMenamins Baghdad Theater, hit up Cirque du Cycling for a couple hours, and then headed out to the Mt. Hood National Forest, where we met Burk and Lydia for a climbing and camping trip.  Sunday was church and relaxation.

Yesterday I began week four of my Couch to 5k program.  Here’s what I have to look forward to this and next week…

Week 4: 5-minute warm-up walk, 3-minute run, 1.5-minute walk, 5-minute run, 2.5-minute walk, 3-minute run, 1.5-minute walk, 5-minute run, 2.5-minute walk, 5-minute cool-down walk

Week 5:

(Day 1) 5-minute warm-up walk, 5-minute run, 3-minute walk, 5-minute run, 3-minute walk, 5-minute run, 5-minute cool-down walk

(Day 2) 5-minute warm-up walk, 8-minute run, 5-minute walk, 8-minute run, 5-minute cool-down walk

(Day 3) 5-minute warm-up walk, 20-minute run, 5-minute cool-down walk

Considering the schedule for the last couple of weeks, I feel like this week and next are significantly more challenging.  So… how did I feel yesterday?  Pretty good.  No crippling side-aches, I didn’t get hungry until the very end, and the first half was actually easy.  The tricky part about my route is that the way back is slightly uphill in parts, which is hard when I’m already tired.  I’ve thought about running it from the other direction, and maybe I’ll give it a shot sometime.  I’m actually quite blessed when it comes to running locations.  My 5-minute warm-up walk happens to take me exactly to the start of the Fanno Creek Trail at the Garden Home Recreation Center.  It’s a lovely paved trail surrounded by trees and tall grass, which makes for a significantly more pleasant experience than running on sidewalks with cars all around.

One thing I’m trying to work into my running routine is a good stretching regimen.  I’m a big fan of stretching, except that it’s time consuming.  But I have seen a difference in how I feel the next day if I stretch before and after, and I’m also all about preventing injury.  The site I’ve been referring to so far for running-specific stretches is Cool Running, but I also find that just doing some easy yoga for 10 minutes stretches similar muscles and is a really good whole-body cool-down.  If you’ve never done yoga before, I highly recommend it — even going to one or two beginners sessions will introduce you to enough basic poses to do it yourself.

Here’s my progress meter!  I’ll do the starred run tomorrow.

Hopefully I will have a gardening update ready for you tomorrow, as well.

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