Category Archives: Couch to 5K

Jogging After Couch to 5K and Bounty From the Garden

Took my first jog today after finishing the Couch to 5K program. I hadn’t jogged in about a week because of the camping trip, so I was a bit worried, but I was able to finish the 3 mile jog, and even went a little faster than last time. It was surprisingly nice to jog without someone telling me how much time had passed. I just used MapMyRun to tell me the distance I had jogged, and listened to my own playlist. It was very challenging since it had been awhile since my last jog, but most of the jog I felt pretty good. I am going to try to continue jogging 2 to 3 times per week. I do need to get new shoes, I think mine are starting to wear out. I felt the first bits of pain in my legs and feet that I’ve felt since starting all of this. I’m planning to go to the running store tomorrow and get fitted for a new pair.

I made an amazing pasta sauce tonight, straight from the garden. I have 3 different types of paste (i.e., plum or Roma type) tomatoes in the garden (they are on the right hand side in the photo), and used a few from each type. Also summer squash and basil from the garden, and peppers and spinach from our farm share. Also some onion and garlic, of course. The sauce didn’t photograph well, but here’s a beautiful photo of some of the bounty I have been harvesting lately. I love having a veggie garden, it’s good for my kids to see where food comes from, good for me to get my meditative garden time, and good for the whole family to be eating all of these fresh, delicious vegetables!



Couch to 5K Week 9! And I Jogged 5K!

So, as I think I mentioned in a previous post, I jog slow. Very very slow. As in, not really faster than a really fast walking pace. And I really don’t care, because I am jogging, which for me is amazing! My current motto, which I saw on Facebook, is “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”

Anyhow, I have been doing this Couch to 5K program, which gets you from jogging in very short intervals, about a minute at a time, to jogging for 30 minutes straight at the end of 9 weeks. Now, I guess for some people that 30 minutes is supposed to have them jogging a 5K. This was not the case for me. In 30 minutes, I was jogging just over 2 miles. Since a 5K is 3 miles, I was falling quite a bit short. I just figured I’d keep doing it past the last week of the program, trying to add a bit of time each jog, and maybe getting a little faster as weeks went by. Maybe. I mapped out a 3 mile route, and was walking the rest of the route after my jog.

This morning, I seriously didn’t want to jog. I’m not sure why. I’m almost done with the program, I’m certainly not giving up now. I was just tired and grumpy, I guess. I dragged my ass out the door and started jogging anyway. Eventually I started feeling a bit better, and into the jog. There were times I actually felt good. Slow, but good. When the little voice in my ear, Mia (from the Chubby Jones Couch25K podcasts) told me I could stop jogging after 30 minutes, I just kept going. I thought to myself I was just going to see how much longer I could go before walking. Then, when I was still going a few blocks later, I though I’d see if I could actually finish the 5K. And I did! I am so proud of myself, and so jazzed. Who cares that it takes me about 50 minutes to jog a 5K–yep, I really am THAT slow–I did it! Go me!

And…I’m Back to Blogging!

I’m not going to go into a long reason why I wasn’t blogging…I went on vacation so I stopped, and never started again. That’s pretty much it. The good news is, I haven’t strayed from my new fitness and eating routines! I am now 40 pounds down, and feeling great. I am still using Zumba, but not as often. I am doing Couch to 5K three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I’m currently on Week 8. I usually am doing Zumba the other 4 days of the week, although on Tuesday this week I did a Kettlebell DVD and a shorter Zumba class. If you haven’t seen Kettlebell, I suggest you do a search for it on YouTube. It is strength training and cardio combined, I really like it.

Today I took a hike with a friend of mine. It was so nice to be social and get exercise at the same time. I bought a Fitbit during the time away from the blog, it is a sort of pedometer that syncs up online, and it is great for keeping track of how much exercise I am getting when I do things like walks, without needing to wear my heart rate monitor. It is integrated with My Fitness Pal, so it shows up as calories burned in my food journal.

I am going to try to get into regular blogging again, it really is helpful for motivation, and to keep my mind on the path ahead.

Weight Loss Forums Will Make You Crazy

This is what I have decided. They will make you completely and totally crazy, until you don’t know if you are eating too little, too much, the wrong foods, not enough protein, not enough carbs, and on and on and on. Crazy-making, seriously.

I’ve been reading the forums on My Fitness Pal (MFP), and I think maybe that’s why I haven’t posted in a few days, because I was slowly going nutso. I think I have found my sanity again. The thing I was trying to figure out, and getting so crazy about, was the right amount of calories I should be eating. The way MFP works is that it tells you how many calories you can eat in a day in order to lose a certain amount of weight per week. Then if you exercise, it adds those calories to your total, so in theory you can “eat back your exercise calories” and still lose the amount of weight you wanted to that week. It makes perfect sense. However, I was getting impatient, and thinking that if I didn’t eat back those exercise calories I would lose weight even faster. The thing a lot of people are saying on MFP is that if you don’t eat enough, you can go into “starvation mode.” People seem to interpret that in very different ways. And some people don’t seem to believe it at all. However, I think there is some truth to it, that if you don’t give your body enough food, it may slow down your metabolism in order to compensate. I went a few days not eating back any of my exercise calories, so having pretty low intake vs. expenditure days, and my weight loss slowed down. I was also pretty hungry, so that really should have been enough of a clue.

The conclusion I have come to is to listen to my body…what I’ve been trying to do this whole time, I think I just forgot. I’ll eat when I am hungry–and try to only eat when I’m hungry–and eat healthy food as much as possible. I’ll try to not go over my MFP calories + exercise calories goal, but otherwise not worry about it too much. Most days, that seems to mean eating some of my exercise calories back, but not all of them. It’s been working the past few days, the scale has been going down again, so I’ll consider it working…until it’s not. Then I’ll start slowly going crazy all over again.

On another note, I’ve completed Couch to 5K Week 2, Day 1. It was 6 iterations of 90 seconds of runnings followed by 2 minutes of walking. Not too bad, though I ended up running up hill twice, so that wasn’t much fun. I also found out that Jog Log is not using the heart rate monitor to calculate calories burned, which is disappointing, since that is the reason I bought it. The count was way off, saying I burned 580 calories in 30 minutes, I think because of the way they are using elevation to calculate calories burned. Their customer service was very nice about it, and they might add it in a future release, so I’ll keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, I downloaded a Couch to 5K podcast which I’ll use with MapMyRun tomorrow and see how it goes.

Housework? No, It’s Exercise!

Okay, not really, but I once read an article about not sitting on  your butt so much, and that even getting up and doing housework was burning some calories. So now I feel like I’m doing something good for my health when I do the dishes and laundry. I’m certainly doing something good for the running of my household.

We had some people over for the 4th of July yesterday, so I have had a lot of opportunity to do dishes today. And after eating a little bit outside my usual calorie count yesterday–someone brought homemade pie, so I am forgiving myself for it–I need to burn all the extra calories I can. The scale hasn’t moved in a couple of days, but when I look at my past history I can see that I’ve lost 2 pounds since one week ago today, so I’m definitely not going to worry about it yet.

I did do a lot of real exercise today. I did the Couch to 5K workout, Week 1, Day 2, which is the same as Day 1. This time, I did it in my own neighborhood, which means a lot of hills. I also did it faster than last time. Even with both of those factors, I was surprised that the Jog Log app said I burned about twice the amount of calories as I did on Day 1, 606 compared to 293. Not sure I trust it, but I don’t base how much I eat in a day on how many calories I burn anyway, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. When I got home, I also did the Zumba Toning DVD, to work my arms. I can definitely feel the jogging in my legs, mostly in my thighs. I definitely don’t enjoy jogging as much as I do Zumba, but it is fun to have the goal of getting through the program.

Tonight I’m going to see a movie, Magic Mike, with a couple of girlfriends. First, we’re going to get some sushi, so it should be pretty easy to eat a healthy dinner. As I’ve said in a previous post, I like to have popcorn with a movie, but movie theater popcorn is apparently terrible for you. So this time, I made my own popcorn at home, put on a little bit of olive oil and salt, and I’ll hide it in my purse. Shhh, don’t tell.

Couch to 5K

I’ve had this feeling in the past couple of weeks that I would like to try jogging. I have no idea why, it is never something I wanted to do in the past. I think partly, it is so I can run with my kids at a park without feeling stupid. Also, people talk so highly about it, I want to see if I can figure out what all the buzz is about. I have heard that I should be concerned about my knees, or my ankles, but I figure if something starts hurting, I’ll stop…or at least take a break, and just go back to doing Zumba every day.

As I was doing some research, I found out about the Couch to 5K program. It starts you off gradually, combination of walking and running, and eventually you can run a 5K (3 miles). There are a bunch of iPhone apps that will coach you–i.e., tell you when to start and stop running–but I only found one that would also keep track of my heart rate and calorie burn. It is called Jog Log, I used it today and it worked great. You can make your own play list of music to play during your jog/walk, it does GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, calorie burn, and a very nice voice prompts you to run or walk.

I also found a nice place for my inaugural jog, as I didn’t want to start in my neighborhood. I live on a bit of a hill, and didn’t want to add the ups and downs when I am just getting started. I went to the Redwood Shores section of the SF Bay Trail. It was lovely, right along a marshy part of the bay.

So, the first day went great, it was a really easy start. Five minutes of warm up, then 8 repeats of jogging for 1 minute and walking for 1 1/2 minutes, then 5 minutes of cool down. Do I love jogging? Not yet, but maybe I could, who knows. The first day of the program is only about 25 minutes, and mostly walking, so I still came home and did Zumba for 45 minutes.

Down another pound this morning, which now puts me officially 1/4 of the way to my goal! Woohoo! It is all going great so far, I’m realizing exercise can be fun, which is just weird. I went out shopping yesterday because some of my pants were falling off of me, and bought a pair of pants 3 sizes smaller than when I started, which was pretty awesome. And I feel really good, which is the most important part.