Monday, February 04, 2008

Run, Freedom, Run!

Phone conversation with a friend this evening went something like this:

"So you want me to sign you up?"

"Yeah, why not. It's for a good cause, right?"

"Yeah. It starts at 7:30. We can park at my office and walk over."

"Ok. Sounds fun."

And with that, I signed up for a 5k. This Sunday. The long time readers of this blog will recall that I have mentioned in the past that I generally only choose to run if chased. And even then, if I think I have decent odds bludgeoning the pursuer with a tree limb or whatever else is close at hand, I will probably take my chances.

Yet, Sunday, a mere 5 days from now, I will be participating in an event where I am expected to move my legs at a pace faster than the one that gets my from my computer to my coffee maker.

I decided (about 10 minutes ago) that maybe I should read how one goes about preparing for a 5k. I clicked on the first thing google spat back at me and right off the bat, I was told:

"If you have not attempted running before you may want to go easy first, so that your body can get used to this activity, more specifically your legs. You will have cramps, a lot of uneasiness and will find yourself gasping for breath most of the time. You will have a lot of sore muscles. You might even wonder whether this is for you, believe us this is for you. Don't give up."

I am about to participate in an activity that causes cramps, uneasiness, and shortness of breath. These sound like things I should be avoiding. Or taking medication to eliminate. And yet the internet people are telling me this IS for me. As I continue to read, I see that the plan for preparation they have laid out is an 8 week plan. This proves to be problematic, as I only have five days. At this point, I ask Google to show me how to pretend to prepare for a 5k, but Google fails me.

But wait? What's this?

"You've just turned 50 and you've decided to run your first 5K. Why not? You already exercise. And even though you're not a competitive athlete, you've wanted to do it for quite awhile. Now you have the time and motivation to prepare."

This site sounds like it may be more my speed. What does the AARP recommend?

Get organized. Make a training schedule to help you stay consistent and on track. - Check. My training schedule currently consists of Dudley's daily walks, a little pilates to prevent pulling anything, and...well, that's it. But I am organized about it.

Go easy. Don't overdo it. Set reachable goals so you don't get discouraged or hurt. - A 5k is approximately 3 miles. So my goal is to finish no later than 10:30. 1 mph. That sounds reachable, eh?

Eat well, stay hydrated. Experts recommend a wide variety of minimally processed foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Drink more water than you think you need before, during, and after workouts. - Does this mean stopping for a fruit smoothie half way through is a good idea?

Love your body. Be sure to get enough rest - don't let yourself get run down. - Sleeping is VERY important. So in order to prepare for the 5k, I will be sleeping more. Midday naps start tomorrow.

Buy quality gear and clothes. Make sure you have all the equipment you need for your event. - Sneakers? Check. Layering of sports bras? Double check.

Don't mess with Mother Nature. Be careful when it gets hot - drink plenty of water, wear light clothing, and try to stay in the shade. - This is Florida. If they wanted us to be careful about the heat, they probably shouldn't have planned a 5k within state lines.

Have fun! Enjoy the benefits your mind and body are reaping from physical activity. - In all seriousness, this is what I am looking forward to. I am going on this excursion with a friend and my sister, which guarantees high entertainment value. Add in the fact that we are all non-runners and will probably still be half asleep when we start the race, and I am pretty sure hilarity will ensue. Is it possible to kicked out of a 5k?

So, I will be updating you all after the weekend on the results of the 5k. Who knows? Maybe this will inspire me to actually train for one properly.

What? Stranger things have happened.

Currently listening to: The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson
Current Mood: Sleepy. See? I am already preparing...


Anonymous said...

:) this is so encouraging. I just signed up for a 16 week "couch to 5K" plan at

remember... you've Walked many a 5K, that's the distance around Green Lake. JUUU Can DOOO EET!

amber said...

Green Lake is 5k? Wooooooooooo! That gives me extra determination.

There is another 5k in April in Windermere, which would be a pretty run.walk. Maybe I'll actually attempt to train for that one if this goes well.

Couch to 5k, indeed. :)

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad you are going. You know, reading about how to prepare is exhausting me. I think if I begin to prepare now, I will be too tired and worn out to do the actual event!
The Disney marathon had a "loser bus". That's not what it's called, I just can't think of the name. If you don't finish a mile in certain amount of time, the bus picks you up and takes you back to the beginning. Boy, that would take a long time if you had to keep starting over! hahahaha
I can't wait!

amber said...

Ha ha! We can be Team Loser Bus...or Team Short Bus.