Due to family illnesses I actually didn’t train almost the entire month of February. At least it feels like that. I picked up this week where I left off, though. Which was cool. Perhaps I should maybe train for a Fall 5k when I would then be training during the Summer, while everyone is well. But it’s Texas. And I’m not about to go out and run in 100+ degree heat. Or even 85+ degree heat!

Anyway, I found that as a beginning runner, when I couldn’t run for more than 60 seconds without nearly dying, that I was more comfortable dealing with my self-imposed humiliation in the privacy of my own home. So, we spent a couple hundred bucks and bought a really good sturdy treadmill at Walmart. It’s a basic enough treadmill that I can do what I want on it – and it even has some bells and whistles I have yet bother using.

But I decided I really couldn’t train for this 5k entirely indoors. Running on a treadmill, with my iPod on or the TV blaring, and with a fan oscillating at my feet while pointed towards the heavens simply does not prepare one to actually go out and run in the actual REAL elements! So, we’ve gone to the track on Tuesday and Thursday, and will go back on Sunday. It’s been really helpful!

Tonight, for example, I was making my way around the first lap (of 3 in the series) when I had to deal with a strong headwind. I was working twice as hard to keep moving, yet not actually moving twice as fast! It felt a little self-defeating. I had 2 more laps to run in that interval so I couldn’t give up on the first lap! It was certainly was much harder than if I had been on the treadmill. I would have NEVER increased my gait or elevation just for the heck of it! Are you crazy?!?! Successfully handling the wind resistance was actually a great training experience.

Also, last Tuesday when we went to the track, by the end of the run both my Achilles tendons and stabilizer muscles were tired from the different running surface. (The stabilizer muscles work to help when running on uneven surfaces – on a treadmill they aren’t really utilized.) I took extra time stretching out afterwards. I can’t imagine the first time my body might have to adjust to something harder than the treadmill being the day of the race. That’d be a disaster for me!

I haven’t progressed to street running yet. Asphalt is a totally different (much harder) surface than the nice spongy track. But I will in the next few weeks.

I can’t believe the 5k is only 6 weeks away! I have decided that even if I can’t complete all the training and I’m not 100% ready come April, I’m still going to run anyway. So I can finally cross it off my “To Do” list. It’s been on a rotation for 3 years now! Good grief! (Yeah, and watch it be 86 degrees the day of, just because God’s funny like that. I wouldn’t put it past Him. I’ve told Him as much too! Thankfully He puts up with my humor/coping mechanisms.)

DISCLAIMER: I am absolutely, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES, to be confused for a REAL running instructor of any kind.