Earth Day 5K Training Week One: Done

Driftwood at Lincoln Park

Week one of my training for the Earth Day 5K went...MUCH better than expected. It was a mercifully gentle ramp-up that consisted of a quick warm-up followed by alternating two-minute runs with a cool down period, for 20 minutes total, every other day. At first when Lori, my mentor and trainer at West Seattle Runner, gave me this schedule, I thought, “two minutes, what’s that going to accomplish?” But then my heart thudded with the realization that I might not be able to run for even that long. Come to learn, I can run for two-minute intervals exactly three or four times in a row before my calves tighten and my irrational fear of breathing heavily forces me to stop. I'm not kidding. I am finding that I am adverse to over-exertion, which probably explains a lot. This seems like a pretty important hurdle to overcome, no?

The results of my first week of training include: an unfamiliar sensation that I’ve come to define as willpower; an intoxicating addiction to success, however small; a touch of physical pain that I can only assume is protestations from muscles that haven’t been used, well, ever; and many emails from people, friends, family and strangers alike, who have been inspired to join me on this journey. It’s been thrilling and gratifying to receive their solidarity and give them support in return.

I stopped by our event partner REI this week for a chat with their foremost expert salespeople on running attire and accessories, including the all-important sports bra, and wowsers, what an education I received. Check back next week for my post on proper fit, the importance of moisture and how to not wreck your knees with the wrong shoes.