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The little British lady in my phone tried to kill me

August 19, 2011

I had some help getting there, but I’m officially back on track. I know I was only supposed to take one or two days off in between workouts, but I think the official wording was “a couple,” and I’m pretty sure that there’s at least one culture out there in the world where “a couple” means six.

I caught a pretty bad scrape from a root on hole 5 at the Ace Race this past Saturday and have been cleaning and re-dressing my left shin all week. It still hurts, but mostly because my hair is caught in the bandage when I take it off. So the time off was actually good for me. Although I have been telling myself I need to get back out there for the last day or two.

I didn’t know what to expect after taking almost a week off, and was kind of worried on the way to the track. I’ve already forced myself to repeat Week One because I wasn’t ready to increase my times, and this was to be the last day of Week Three — meaning the next time I run, I have to not only continue to pull sets of a minute/thirty, but I have to mix in sets of three minutes as well. However, that is in the future, and I would be running in the present. So with that in perspective, I was surprised by a few things.

First of all, I was winded after my first set, which hasn’t happened since the first couple of days. I did take almost a full week off so that wasn’t too unsettling.

Second, even though I got winded quicker than normal, I was able to recover pretty quick too. I did have to slow my pace down for sets three and four, but I really didn’t hit any walls tonight. I even started my last set full out sprint. I had slowed considerably by the end and felt like I didn’t have much more to give, but after my walk and my cooldown, I felt right as rain. That was another surprise. I didn’t expect to feel as good as I did at the end of my workout, but I felt great.

A friend told me about an iPhone app called Couch to 5K, which is apparently the program I’ve been doing. I just boosted a .jpg of the workouts that someone had included with a “How I started running” post on Reddit. This app was incredible. It made my workout so much smoother, and surprisingly quicker … or at least it seemed that way.

I started my playlist and began stretching. Once I was done, I cued up the day I wanted to run in the app, which let me run my playlist in the background. All the start and stop times were already programed for me, and it even included warmup and cooldown times. All I had to do was hit the start button and then do what the little British lady in my phone told me to do.

It was just like running to my iPod, only every now and then, the lady would come through the headphones saying, “Walk now,” or “Run now.” She even announced when I was at the halfway point. As easy as it was last week to just set my timer and not have to look at my phone, I still had to manually start and reset each timer. With the little British lady, I didn’t have to do shit … except run, which brings me to another surprise.

I had forgotten about my little way to cheat the program. A couple of times she’d say “Run now,” and I would think, “That doesn’t seem like enough downtime.” Then I would remember how if I didn’t feel like starting the next set yet, I could always just run another walk timer when I was manually controlling it. I wish I would have had this tool from the beginning, but I’m glad to have it now.

Not a surprise, but worth noting — I brought my slides with me to change into after my workout rather than wearing my running shoes home and then putting them on. Like the Sauce Boss says in a Canadian accent, “Smart!”

Music wise, “Weight of the World” has made it on the playlist every single workout even though it’s on shuffle, but the songs that did the trick this morning were Evidence’s “Chase the Clouds Away” and “Juicy.” If I have to tell you the artist, you should be ashamed of yourself … or maybe you’re just too young … 1994 REPRESENT!

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