Not Done Yet

Its A Bit Chilly

8K Training Team Week 3: We Meet the Midpoint


Week 3 introduced 2.5 miles to the team, officially half the distance (roughly) of an 8K.

Kind of exciting!

Dexter and I still felt pretty comfortable with the length of the run. That distance wasn’t out of our comfort zone, but it was starting to knock on the door of mine.

That’s a story for another day.

The morning greeted us a bit cooler than we’d experienced previously, certainly cooler than the 80 degrees or more at the beach for me the week before.

And, tut, tut, it looked like rain.

You know what happens to runners when it rains? They get wet.

There were more than few silent requests from my fellow participants (and myself) for a wee dry spell as Mandy gave us our announcements on the roof. The most important one had come in her eMail:

We start promptly at 7:30 AM. Thank you.

Since Dexter and I both appreciate promptness, we nodded approvingly.

Then all began our pre-run dance on the roof.

Shake It, Don’t Break It… Well, Actually, Stretch It, Don’t Injure It

No, this is not Gangnam style. Led by Coach Beth, the dance is done Hokey-Pokey Style, with us all in the circle.

Your roll your right ankle right, you roll your right ankle left

You roll left ankle left, you roll your left ankle right…

This continues with knees and hips, then the dance gets really fancy. We put our hands on either side of our heads, elbows out and Twist! The goal is to check out our right shoe laces then our left shoe laces.

The big finale is jumping jacks. Nobody gets to go run until we’ve counted loud enough to wake the sleeping college children down at VCU.

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Our route for the day took us down Monument Avenue, like so: USA Routes Link

One of the reasons that we chose the Retreat Hospital training team was the opportunity to run these beautiful routes, especially with Fall approaching. Although grey lighting does dampen the scenery a bit, it’s still a whole lot prettier than running around a track.

I’d love to tell you that I took pictures on the route, but today I was really focused on my pace. Dexter tends to run faster than I do, so I’ve been working pretty hard to keep up with him.

One thing that was particularly neat was that, as we’re running up Monument toward Carytown, Dexter and I began reminiscing a bit about our inaugural Monument Avenue 10K back in the spring. At the time, we had walked the entire thing, but we did finish (with great pictures). We found ourselves giggling as we realized that we’d be running that race when it rolled around again.

What a difference a few months makes!

Go From Walking to Running in 30 Days, No Joke

At some point after the Carytown 10k, Dexter and I looked at each other and decided it was time to try running instead of wogging. Plus I had some crazy idea that we might try the half-marathon in November. They recommended that half-marathoners be able to run at least 30 minutes continuously and be comfortable running 3 miles.

So we started thinking, wondering, questioning… can we learn to run for this next race?

Turns out, you can go from being a walker to being a runner in just 30 days, 30 minutes a day.

Yes, I know that sounds like one of those cheesy commercials, but this is actually true.

We used the Hal Higdon 30/30 plan, found here.

Higdon also has a beginners guide to running, which provided a few useful tips as well. And I started reading the Runner’s World magazine site , which is jammed-packed with great information for newbies and folks who – like Dexter and I at the time – are just *thinking* about becoming runners.

The basic concept of the 30/30 plan is that you start out walking for 5 to 10 minutes. Then you do the training intervals – jog for 30 seconds, walk for 30 seconds. Repeat. Do this for a total of 15 minutes. Then walk for five minutes (or however long it takes to get home).

Dexter did his training at the gym, while I ran in the mornings with my husband. We dutifully checked off each day, stretching our running time by a single minute or two each week. I posted my first full 30 minute run in our Facebook group:

“Ran for 30 minutes continuously this AM for the first time ever! Whoohoo! Interval training works. Phase one of operation maybe half Marathon has met with success. Let’s see how tomorrow goes.”

I cannot begin to tell you how proud I was of my accomplishment. Not a month before, I had struggled (sometimes painfully) to jog portions of the Carytown 10k. Yet here I was, about a month later, completing a full 30 minute run.

Was I fast? No. But I did it.

It was just about taking the next step.

Three on the Horizon

As we rounded the corner and made our way back to the Retreat roof, I hit the button on my stopwatch.

We finished in a very respectable time of 29:33 minutes. You know what that works out to, Friends?

Five miles per hour. Weight Watchers classifies this as the minimum speed for an activity to be called “running.”

Guess what, Dexter? We’re RUNNERS!

Three miles on the horizon for the week ahead. Bring it on. We’re ready. We’re now real deal, and we are most definitely Not Done Yet!

Wishing you an Awesomelicious Day! Stay tuned for more on our 8K Training Adventures!


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