Wind, Sweat, and Feeling Good

This might turn into a running blog, but I’ll try to keep the posts related to loving our planet.

As pointed out in the first blog post, I began a “Couch to 5K” program last week. This is a conditioning program–a strength-building program–that allows a non-runner to build up to running 5K. I don’t consider myself a runner yet! But getting out there three times a week, running amongst grass, mountains, trees, squirrels, rivers, and creeks makes me feel more of a part of nature than usual. I’m definitely not a treadmill person. I like to make distance and be under the sky. This is a really good time of year to start running since cool weather is good weather for sweating.

The program hasn’t been what I would describe as super easy, nor super difficult, so far. The hardest day was last Thursday; the night before I had some kind of stomach flu and hardly slept. I didn’t go to work but forced myself to run the next day.

Today I ran a total distance of just under a mile, but it’s still in conditioning mode, where you walk for a certain amount of time, then run. At one point, when my app said “let’s jog”, I happened to be right at a point along the road that went downhill at a slight decline. The wind was right up against my red hot sweaty face. I felt like I could go on forever. Tired muscles, sore knees and feet, and periods of being under direct sunlight and being too warm made that moment of running downhill, amongst the beautiful cedar and pine and fir in the area, kinda feel like I was on a magic carpet ride. Later, jogging up a different hill, it was more like, “how much longer can this possibly go on?” But we run for those moments that feel the best, and all the other hurting moments are just part of it.

Running just makes you feel good, or at least if it hurts, you feel like you did something good. And part of that good feeling is the constant discovery. Last week I found, when running near my house, a small creek, Maple Creek–a local salmon and red-legged frog (endangered) habitat. An article about it is here; according to the site, “near the Ozada tot lot on the edge of Coquitlam’s New Horizons subdivision, Maple Creek has some riparian trees and good water flow from a ground-water pump but its conditions deteriorate further downstream.”

Anyway, some things I’ve learned about running-conditioning in the last couple weeks:

1. For new runners, here’s an app for “Couch to 5K“. I’ve always been flighty and fickle, so when it comes to exercise, I need something other than my brain telling me when to stop and go. Counting on my brain means stopping to take a photo or deciding I don’t really have to do this today because I can make up for it tomorrow. This app is good. It tells you when to stop and go…great for us rationalizers.

2. “Beating the blerch” does not mean beating all the other seasoned runners out there. When the app says “let’s jog,” you don’t have to break out into a crazy run. I just do what my body lets me do naturally. My pace and distance have increased since just last week.

3. Watch out for wet, slippery leaves and trails this time of year. But watch for small creeks and stuff you never knew existed. It could lead somewhere–like Bilbo said, on an adventure.