When the Pandemic rolled across our world, keeping us from our usual activities, some of us decided we’d do just fine. We’d keep up our dog
training, exercise regularly, maybe even add a few more routines. Yes sirree Bob, we were not going to let anything stop us.
If you’re like me (and many of you are. Yes, you are) this worked for a week or so. Then we took a short break. A couple more short breaks. Until we could count the days we worked on one hand. Oops. But we could catch up quick enough. Right? For me, dog classes were my major reasons to exercise, and setting goals without class wasn’t easy.
Then our governor eased up restrictions enough to allow for limited Agility classes. We were back in business! Well, mentally anyway. Physically my legs and my lungs were letting me know it was NOT a good idea to kick back and wear out my Kindle. When you get to my age and condition getting back in shape can be a problem.
Eeep. I had a solution, since some of my reading was Zoe York’s Canadian small town romances. Those people were always working out, what a great inspiration. In fact in one of them I learned about Couch to 5K, http://www.c25k.com/, which promised to get me up and going in nine short weeks. There is even an app for my Android (you ever notice how many of the cool apps are Apple?) I was ready to go.
Mind you some of my friends are in to hiking, and I could not admire them more. I have this ingrained fear of loose dogs and nasty owners….so I’d rather walk in my own field. Mornings are nearly always cool here in New Mexico and the monsoons hadn’t yet gifted us with humidity. I had my running shoes on, phone in hand, and the company of my Salukis. Yup, ready to go.
The program start with a warm up of five minutes brisk walking. Easy peasy since I’ve been doing the FitBit 250 steps every hour. Well, most hours. But I have walked, honest. Off I go, striding out, arms swinging. After a couple rounds of the field I check, sure that the five minutes are up. Nope still three to go. Hmmm this might be a bit more challenge than I thought.
AH, the chime, and an ever so cultured voice informs me that warm up is over it’s time to RUN for one minute. I set out briskly then scaled back to a jog, managing to make it almost all the way to the next chime. Gasping, stumbling into a 90 second walk, after which I will launch into another 60 second run. Eight times.
I manage to make it to the third cycle but by now my ‘run’ is more of a shuffle and I stumble to a halt, bracing my legs to stand upright. On a whim I check the FitBit…that was surely good for at least a fat burning heart rate. No heart rate shows, I think I scared my FitBit. I punch out of the program, missing the suggestion to just delay, and stagger into the house for some water.
Next day I’m at it again, but this time when I stopped, I used the ‘delay’ option. Maybe I could do one day’s worth in two or three days? Alas, that didn’t work. At the rate I’m going I’ll never make the first day much less nine weeks.
You’re probably wondering, so what? If doing this program was such an effort, why did I keep trying? Funny thing about that, later in the day and the next day I felt…lighter. My step had more spring to it and it was much easier to draw a deep breath. Something was working. I did some more research, that told me the Couch to 5K might be extreme for some people.
I found something called None 2 Run, which was way easier with only 30 seconds of jogging and two minutes walking. Sadly, that is an Apple app so I have to make it up as I go along. I also went from RUN to jog, to a sort of shuffle stride that’s way easier on my knees. It’s similar to the ‘run’ we use showing dogs since that freaking concrete is NOT nice to our legs!
I haven’t talked much about this, just showed up at Agility class and pushed a little harder each week. Being able to breathe even after a difficult course is huge for me. And I can. Biddy is even looking at me with a bit more respect.
The main lesson to share here? Just. Keep. Moving.
2 responses to “Couch to 5 WHAT? #MFRWAuthor”
I always enjoy your posts but today was simply perfect timing for me to read this. It’s not fun to pant after one round on the agility field, or out in the open field trailing after the free running dogs lol. This encouragement from a fellow sighthound lover to get back to active exercise despite the difficulties is appreciated. Thank you!
I admire your commitment. Kudos, ma’am. I tried working up to running about 5 years ago and gave up when I strained my hamstring. I could barely shuffle until it healed. I’ll stick to walking and moving mulch. At least I don’t have a dog to keep up with.