This morning I completed the program for the first time (more about this in a bit). The funny thing is that I didn't have much energy to do it, so I thought. I woke up minutes after 3 a.m., and because it was so hot, I tossed and turned for 2.5 hours after being up for an hour. So, when my husband's alarm went off at 6:30 a.m. I was quite pooped. Normally, I wake up around 5 a.m. naturally (lay there in bed and watch some news), and am on the trail by 6:30.
When I got to the trail at 7:45 it was already warm at 75F (24C) and humid. I was still feeling a little groggy, like when I get up in the middle of the night to use the toilet. My mind was telling me that this was going to be one of the worse runs I've done. But somehow, my legs didn't hear that. As soon as I stepped on the trail, my legs go into "Les' do dis" mode, and started moving quicker for the warm up. Then when Laura said it was time to start running, my mind said, "Oh no, let's walk for a few more minutes." My legs were having none of that kind of crazy talk, and said, "Ok, boss.", in response to Laura.
Off I went, still feeling loopy and actually wanted to shut my eyes for a quick nap. I was very uncoordinated, and am sure I looked like I was doing the Drunk Monkey style (old kung-fu movie reference). Somehow, my legs just kept churning, and didn't stop during the session. Not even when my bluetooth headphones dropped the connection to my phone at around minute 15. They slowed down a little to let me retrieve the phone, and pair it back up with the headphones, but they refused to stop.
After about minute 20 of the run, I seemed to wake up and really find a rhythm with my pace. "Oh yeah, it's on now!", I thought (my mind finally got in synch with my legs). I completed the 30 minutes and continued to run through the 5 minute warm down. During my second session on my return to the parking lot, my mind and body were really working as a team. I had a nice steady pace all the way. Not once did my mind make a negative suggestion, and my legs seemed to enjoy carrying me. After the session was done, my legs rewarded me by not having sore knees and ankles, and did the post-run stretches without giving me any resistance.
This program has been wonderful, and is a good jumping off point to improve one's fitness. My next goal is to increase my speed, and on Wednesday I am starting all over again with Week 1, but at a faster pace. I will do program sessions on my outbound runs, and on my return runs I will run non-stop to continue working on my endurance.
The main thing that I have learned from this program, especially today, is that when it's time to determine whether to stop or not is to listen to your body and not your mind. In my case, it was my thoughts that kept me on the couch and at the kitchen table instead of on the trail or moving my body.
I gotta go and find me some tunes for my upcoming runs. See y'all later.