This week has been full of endings and beginnings; much sadness and much happiness. I am reminded than whenever God shuts a door, he will often open a window. And so this week has been a week of shut doors and open windows, and once again I am reminded of how blessed I am to have Gary in my life, supporting me and loving me just where I am.
Last Monday I got together with a gorgeous group of girls from my church, who, having read my blog post asking for help with my rather dire looking crochet efforts, offered up their time to have a craft night to teach me. Oh my goodness, it is so much easier being taught by a real live person, and so much more fun when you are not the only beginner (thank you lovely Linda 🙂 ). I must have crocheted about half a cloth during the evening, and each stitch was perfect (even if I do say so myself!) and even more importantly the cloth was straight and recognisably rectangular in shape. I also learned a new stitch called the double something or other. I was so hyped with excitement I couldn’t sleep!
So I crocheted a few more lines. Each day I did a few more until the beautifully rectangular cloth was looking a little like a rhombus, albeit an upside down one. I unpicked and began the unaccompanied stitches again (I didn’t unpick the ones I had done at the craft night, after all, as I may have mentioned, they were perfect). And I did okay. I seem to have picked up one or two new stitches, but as my first attempt at a completed dish cloth, I’m kinda stoked!
The one problem I have now is that nobody taught me how to cast off…….Lucy? Tracy? Anyone??
The second exciting thing this week was the achievement of completing the whole week one of Couch to 5K. You may have remembered I wanted to try a few weeks ago, but due to see through trousers and no way to listen to the pod casts I came to a grinding halt (in my opinion the very best place for me to be). However, I still had a small yearning to do it so I got my butt into gear and finally figured out how to operate my mini iPod, downloaded the podcasts (actually Gary did that for me….but I watched – that counts, right?), sent off for a pair of jogging earphones and gathered my too-large-for-my-mini-iPod holder to fix said iPod to my arm.
Monday evening arrived, and I was all pumped to go. I donned my non-see through trousers, ensuring I was wearing similar coloured knickers (just in case my fat wobbled so much it caused the seam to break in my non- see through trousers), I gathered my water, my step counter, my iPod and all the regalia needed to hold, listen and work the thing. I stuffed a tissue down the rear side of my jogging bottoms, pinned my hair up with all the mismatched hair grips I could find in the house and along with the kitchen sink, Gary drove me to my destination.
Yes, Gary had offered to accompany me. I was in two minds about this to be honest. I mean, assuming I could jog even slightly faster than he walked, it would mean he had to watch my behind wibblewobble about whilst I attempted my version of the whole jogging technique. I wasn’t entirely sure my marriage would survive such an onslaught. Gary assured me he was significantly attached to said derriere and not even it jigging about would put him off. What about if I collapsed? Or tripped? Or God forbid bumped into another jogger because I was so busy concentrating on moving in a lady-like fashion I didn’t see him until I bumped into him? What if…..
Gary kind of manhandled me to face the direction he was hoping I would soon be moving in, and probably saying a quick prayer to God asking Him to please stop my incessant chatter and help me to just-get-on-with-it, he encouraged me to begin.
And there I met my first hurdle. How on earth did I turn on the iPod? Patiently Gary turned it on, found the pod cast and pressed play, smiling at me benevolently.
‘Ooooh, it’s Laura,’ I told him, as a nice lady told me she would be taking me from couch potato to running 5K (or thirty minutes) in just nine weeks. She was very reassuring that I needn’t worry, she would be telling me when to run and when to walk.
I was then told to walk briskly for five minutes. I smiled. I could do this. The music began. ‘This is the Greatest Day’ began playing through my ear phones. ‘Hmm,’ thought I. ‘That remains to be seen.’
By the time five minutes was up, I was barely breathing. Bear in mind I had not even taken one actual jogging step yet. I looked inside my bra, onto which my step monitor was strapped. Noticing I had done maybe more steps in those five minutes than I had for the rest of the day, I felt quite excited. Then the music changed and I just knew what was coming next. Yes, I was right. Laura instructed me to jog for one minute. She warned me not to go too fast. I would have snorted at the idea, but honestly? I had no breath. I broke out in what I am certain would be called a stroll for most people. For me it felt like I was running the race of my life. I really tried very hard, and after what seemed like an hour and a half, the minute was up. Laura congratulated me, as did Gary who was sauntering along at my side. He has a messed up leg and isn’t able to jog. So he was just walking. My jog hadn’t taken me any faster than his walk. I was just commenting on that when Laura told me to start running again for another sixty seconds. I was convinced Laura had two clocks – one which made time move slower (especially saved for the running sixty seconds) and a second one which clearly worked at a much faster rate, for the ninety second walk recovery.
The second, forth and sixth run were the best minutes. During these minutes I almost felt free. Free from what, I can’t be sure, but freedom was most definitely what I felt. By the eighth and last run I literally felt like I might die at any minute. I’m really not sure how I got to the end of the sixty seconds, but I did! I was SO PROUD OF MYSELF. There is no feeling like it in the world. As I cooled down during the last five-minute warm down, I was riding high on endorphins and pride. And you know what? So was Gary. I could see it in his eyes. This was a big deal. And I could not have done it without him.
I began seizing up at about 11 pm that night and by the morning I could barely get out of bed. Oh my goodness, I was stiff in places I never knew I had muscles. These aches and pains lasted all day, and got worse over night. The Couch to 5K program advises to leave a day of rest in between runs and now I could see why. We did go for a long walk with the two younger girls on the day after my first run, and by the second day I was ready to try again.
I was surprised by how much easier it was, and just how much faster I was 🙂 Gary was lagging behind the whole time, and didn’t even catch up during the walking times. Aerobically I found it much easier, but as this time I was jogging on hard ground instead of the grassy ground on Monday, my knee-joint, ankle joint and heel were very sore. Obviously it is mainly because of the extra weight I am carrying around, but Gary noticed that one of my feet turn in (as in there is no arch to support it) and it was on that leg the knee, ankle and heel hurt. I bought an arch support and used it for Friday’s jog. As I had only been hurting on one side (right knee, right heel, right ankle), I only used the right insole. This was a mistake. It completely sorted out the right side problems, but without those to focus on the left side began to hurt…..Monday I shall be wearing both insoles.
I’m off now to prepare for a piggy party this afternoon. Have a great weekend!