Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pain lets you know you're not dead yet

Last night was pre-season workout number 2 in Central Park. I'm quite ashamed to say that even though I'd put in some treadmill time on Saturday, Sunday and Monday - my thighs were still a bit dodgy after last week's session. I was a bit nervous about how much effort I'd be able to put in to the cross-training, stretching part of our weekly workout. I had already decided to find the 70 year old lady who was there last week and stand close to her.

My nerves about session two were somewhat eased by the company of Flock, one of the girls from work who I'd somehow managed to convince to do this half-marathon with me. And like me, Flock is not a runner (yet?), and she's equally dubious about her body's ability to get through this 13.1 mile challenge in one piece. But as we've been talking about it together over the past few days, we've managed to keep each other motivated. Flock has even ramped up her fundraising efforts by feeding us all home-made sausage rolls this week. $1 for 2 of those delicious delights? A bargain, if ever there was one!

Rain fell for most of yesterday afternoon and I don't deny that I thought about bailing on training. But it was only the second week - and we're still only in pre-season. Training hasn't even started properly yet. Plus Flock was still committed, so I had to be too. By the time we got to Central Park, the sky was dark and the raindrops were there to stay. As we walked towards the Bethesda Terrace meeting point, I was carrying on about how the trainers couldn't possibly expect us to run in the rain...we'd catch our deaths of cold....I'd surely slip on wet leaves....I'm wearing all black; I'd get hit by a car for sure. Bla-di-bla-bla.

All this melodrama came to nothing though really. Our trainer didn't expect us to run in the rain at all. We stayed underneath the Bethesda Terrace bridge and did our workout under there. We jogged, we skipped, we kicked our legs. We squatted and planked and pushed up. I tried to lunge (and thought better of it), and did a couple of half-ass curtsies before my thighs decided enough was enough. I was relieved when we started the cool-down stretching parts and when I leaned over to do a calf/hamstring stretch, I was quite proud that I could put both of my palms flat on the floor. If I had done that same stretch after last week's training, I probably would have cried.

After our workout, Flock and I parted ways and I walked to the bus stop with one of the other girls from training. Yep, I made another new friend. This is getting to be a bit of a pattern, kids. This new friend is a first-time marathoner and non-runner too. She works at Penguin books, so you can imagine the geeky conversations we had as we walked together. Penguin is actually sponsoring a team of her colleagues to do this half-marathon and they're matching donations dollar-for-dollar. Isn't that wonderful? I was too busy chatting to notice how cold it was and how rained-on I was getting, despite my umbrella. When I got to the bus stop and tried to put on the hoodie that I'd left in my backpack, I realised that my bag is not as water-tight as I'd hoped it was, and my hoodie - and most of my work clothes - were all damp. Nuts.

Within about 30 seconds of getting home last night, I was standing under a scalding hot shower and feeling immediately revived. A bowl of hot soup, a glass of red wine, and two episodes of "The West Wing" rounded out my night. I slept like the dead and it was wonderful.

What is also wonderful is the fact that I can actually move this morning. I feel better today that I did after last week's workout and I hope that this is just a good sign of great things to come.

No comments: