JogBlog: Week 5, Day 3

December 4, 2009

The kitchen thermometer showed 31º when I got out of bed this morning. I’d been excitedly dreading this morning all week.

I thought about waiting an hour or so to see if the weather would warm up a degree or two. But, no… I really wanted to just get out there and get it done. No sense in delaying the inevitable!

I figured I’d better wear two layers of running tights (I don’t have any real cold weather tights), plus my Under Armor shirt again. And then? Well in an attempt to give myself every mental edge I could, I decided I’d go with the orange fleece jacket that coordinates with the little orange accents on my running shoes. Because if I can’t run well, I should at least  look good. Ha ha. I also wore a black headband that would keep my ears warm. And a lightweight pair of gloves. No excuses about being cold today… I made sure!

Other than being cold, it really was a pretty morning. No rain this time, so my fears of being electrocuted by my earphones were diminished.

I decided today to run in the opposite direction from what I have been doing for about 2 weeks. I figured that for a long run like I’d be doing today, it might be better for me to deal with Big Nasty Hill once or twice, and then enjoy longer bouts of more level or slightly-downhill ground.

So, I turned on the podcast, got introduced to Robert again, blah blah blah about the workouts for the different days, and if you’re ready, let’s begin our brisk warmup walk. So off I went.

As I’m walking, I’m trying to make sure I have done every possible preparation for the long interval today. iPod armband securely on my arm? Check. Phone and keys in pockets, zipped up? Check. Sunglasses on to show people how cool I am? Check. Shoes securely tied? Wait a minute… no… no, I think they might need to be retied a little more snugly. I don’t want to get 5 minutes in and be thinking about my shoes. So, I paused the podcast music, stopped and retied both my shoes. With double knots. Because I am a nerd.

OK, ready to resume!

Now… a couple minutes later, Robert comes on and says it’s time to start running. And I don’t know… I feel like it’s a pretty unceremonious start to a very big event! I mean, shouldn’t the mayor be here? Some sort of ribbon cutting ceremony? Maybe a champagne bottle broken against the side of my head to christen my maiden voyage into 20-minute jogging land? I don’t know… but what I got was “OK, time for us to start running… ”

So I did. And it wasn’t like I was all full of energy and raring to go. I just sort of started. Kept it slow. Felt slow. Legs felt a little heavy. I knew I was heading for Big Nasty Hill fairly early on, so I tried to be very conservative.

I thought about whether I could do this for 20 minutes. Because so far I wasn’t feeling much of anything except tired and slow.

Then came Big Nasty Hill (BNH). I have figured out that if I don’t look up the hill, but just put my head down and slowly trudge ahead, looking only at the pavement in front of my feet, it’s a little easier to tackle. A little.

I got to the top, and right about that time was when Robert comes in and says that the Day One People are done with their first 5 minute run. And right about that time was when I first wrestled with wanting  to walk for a few minutes. With the Day One People. Those lucky Day One People. But since I’d already crested BNH, I convinced myself to keep plugging along because the ground leveled out for a bit then.

And sure enough, a minute or so later I was feeling better. Breathing a little easier. Coming up on a nice stretch on the track of some downhill or level ground.

My mental mileage calculator kicked into gear again, figuring out my timing and my pace. Robert gave some other cues, for the Day Two People to start walking and the Day One People to start running again. Then, lo and behold! Robert says that the Day Three People (that’s me!) are halfway through their 20-minute run! So, ten minutes had passed, and by where I was on the loop I quickly figured that I was running about a 12-minute mile again. This was soon confirmed when I passed the one mile mark and then about a minute later Robert cued the other guys to start running and/or jogging again… at what would have been the 13-minute mark in the podcast.

Hey! Only seven minutes left!

What is going on here?

Now mind you, I am not feeling all springy and fresh. I will not pretend that I’m doing this and I feel wonderful. I am tired. And I’m now heading toward BNH again. And there’s a gentle uphill slope for about 1/8 mile leading up to BNH, which doesn’t make things any easier.

Push through it. Just one more trip up that hill, and then it will be cake. Or at least cookies.

Once again I pressed up that hill, painfully slowly. I got to the top and really would have liked to start walking then… but right around then, Robert cues the Day One People that they are ready for their last 5-minute run…. and THAT is when it pays off to be a Day Three Person. Because the way the timing of the different intervals on the different days works out, the Day Three People actually finish their 20 minutes about a minute before those other poor saps finish their last runs.

Hooray for me! Hooray for Day Three! Just a few minutes left! And I’m heading downhill!

And then, almost before I know it, Robert pops in and says “OK Day Three, congratulations!” you made your 20-minute run!”

And there was much rejoicing.

I jogged a few more steps just to be sure he wasn’t pulling a fast one on me.

I did it! And I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud and embarrassed at the same time. Proud for finishing, but embarrassed at how slow and clunky I feel when I jog.

The cool down walk felt good.

And to fulfill a promise to myself from Wednesday, I drove straight to Starbucks and got myself a hot chocolate.

With no whip.

Because you know, I’m in training. 😉



  1. too funny! now we work towards w6d3!

  2. Good for you! You deserve the hot chocolate, and with whipped cream too!

  3. LOVE this! I feel as tho I’ve found a kindred spirit! Just a few “training sesh’s” ahead of you and believe it or not, it gets better!

  4. GREAT JOB!!! It took me a long time to get to the 20 minute run and I believe it was because it seemed like such a big deal. An unceremonious start is exactly the way to do it! Very happy for you! What an accomplishment!

  5. Huzzah! Great job!

  6. inspiring! I’m on W5D1 with my wife, and have been dreading the 20 minute run. I’m impressed that you’re doing the run on hilly ground. We just go to the high school track. 🙂

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